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UK Labour Party's nationalization plan would cost £196B, CBI estimates

The Confederation of British Industry estimated that proposals from the U.K.'s opposition Labour Party to nationalize the country's water and energy utilities, train companies and Royal Mail postal service would cost the government about £196 billion.

The organization, or CBI, said in an Oct. 14 news release that the total cost to bring network operator National Grid PLC, water and wastewater utilities, electric and gas transmission and distribution networks, rail rolling stock and the national mailing service into government ownership would cost as much as the U.K.'s £69 billion annual education budget and its £141 billion annual spending on health and social care.

In addition to these costs, the government would see a 10.7% increase in debt, levels not seen since the 1960s. Servicing this debt is expected to cost about £2 billion per year, the CBI said.

The nationalization move would affect investors' confidence, while savers and pensioners could lose an estimated £9 billion from their holdings the organization added.

The CBI's estimate on the acquisition of water and energy utilities is based on the latest value of the asset base and multiplied by a mark-up of 30% based on historical takeovers and market-to-asset ratios of publicly listed companies.