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Renationalised public services would benefit by £13 billion annually, new research finds

RENATIONALISING transport, utilities, mail and parts of the NHS could plough nearly £13 billion back into public services every year, according to campaign group We Own It.

About 72,000 nurses and 20,000 doctors could be employed with the £4.5bn saved by ending the internal market in the NHS, the anti-privatisation group said.

We Own It used research from the University of Greenwich, as well as studies from Transport for Quality of Life and the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, to estimate the public benefit of ending privatisation.

The findings shine a light on the huge benefits of Labour’s key pledge to renationalise public services.

Publicly owned gas and electricity networks would save £3.7bn annually, which could pay for 222 new offshore wind turbines every year, We Own It said.

Nationalising water would save £2.5bn per year, the group said, which is enough to reduce leakages by a third in one year.

We Own It estimated that 100 miles of new railway track per year could be paid for by the £1bn saved from bringing rail into public ownership, while publicly owned bus networks would save £506 million a year and could pay for 1,356 new electric buses.

Putting Royal Mail back into public hands would save £171m, enough to open 342 new branches in towns across the country, it said.

And it said that publicly owned broadband — a key Labour promise — would save £500m a year and would be enough to pay for full-fibre broadband for six million households.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “Austerity and privatisation have failed – it’s time to upgrade our public services for the 21st century.

“This research shows just what is at stake in this election — what public ownership can deliver for our economy and the planet.

“Wasting public money on shareholders is a scandal. By ending it, we can free up investment to deliver a better deal for our communities and the climate.

“Public ownership can pay for the new green infrastructure we need, like upgrading our water pipes, investing in new wind power and installing full-fibre broadband across the country.

“And it can help give communities what they need — vital services like new buses, post offices and of course doctors and nurses for our NHS.”

Professor David Hall, director of the public services international-research unit at the University of Greenwich, said that the research shows that nationalisation would “pay for itself in less than seven years.”

He stressed that the law does not require shareholders be paid “market value” compensation for the nationalisation of services and said that it could cost less than £50bn if shareholders are compensated for the amount they have actually invested, rather than the nearly £200bn claimed by the Confederation of British Industry.

Labour welcomed the research as it backs the party’s own plans to “end rip-off privatisation.”

A Labour spokesperson told the Star: “With key utilities in public hands, we’ll stop paying enormous dividends to shareholders and use the savings to make clean and efficient water, heating, electricity, internet, and transport affordable and accessible to all.

“Labour has a plan for real change that will deliver an economy that serves the interests of the many and not the few.”

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