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The politics of necessity: electricity and water in Great Britain


This paper examines the politics and the policy developments regarding access to electricity and water supply in Britain after the privatisation of these industries in 1990. It does this primarily through discussing two issues: paying for water and fuel poverty. It concludes that, somewhat surprisingly, the introduction of privatisation and greater reliance on market mechanisms has not made the material position of disadvantaged consumers worse as regards these industries. This seems to be attributable partly to changes in the regulatory structure consequent on privatisation and partly due to changes in national politics.