For sure, the latest dose of corporate greed doesn't help, when you see five directors of the publicly owned Scottish Water sharing in a one-off bonus pay-out of more than £450,000 for "meeting performance targets".
Chief executive Richard Ackroyd was handed £78,900 as part of the deal, meaning he took home £420,000 in total last year. Finance chief Douglas Millican and "asset management director" Geoff Aitkenhead both got bonuses of £103,000 to top up their total pay of £230,000.
Yet a spokeswoman for Scottish Water insists that the business is "unique" and that the salaries were below those of directors at water firms south of the Border. So that's alright then?
Actually, Scottish Water is unique, so far as I know.
Well, in most places in the UK, one pays a fixed bill for one's water and sewerage (mine is currently about £320 per year)—unless, of course, you are metered. It's very true that one doesn't have an awful lot of choice in one's supplier, but at least the bill is there in front of you.
In Scotland, however, the only supplier is, of course, Scottish Water but, more egregiously, the water rates are included in your Council Tax bill. That's right, Scottish Power not only have the entire power of government behind their bill collection, but they do not even have to make the effort to collect their payment from the consumers themselves.
This leads of course, to a particular loathing of students in large university towns (and most towns or cities in Scotland have a hefty student to resident ratio) because, of course, students do not pay Council Tax.
Edinburgh, for instance, has a population of 477,660: the University of Edinburgh alone has 28,394 students, or about 6%. If you add in Heriot Watt (10,225) and Napier (17,605) then you are at some getting on for 12% of the population using water but not paying for it (and I haven't included the one or two smaller institutions).
As long-time readers will know, your humble Devil lived in Edinburgh for ten years, and it almost goes without saying that the water part of my Council tax went up extremely rapidly: indeed, I remember one year in which the water precept went up by 18%!
So, yes, Scottish Water are pretty unique: but only in that they are able to rape the Scottish taxpayer in a way not open to their brethren south of the border...
* So far as I know, this payment system does not exist elsewhere in the UK.