An analysis of the developments in regulation of public utilities under the Labour government from a former special adviser.

Drawing on his experience as a special adviser in the DTI and DTLR between 1997 and 2002, ippr's former senior economist Dan Corry analyses developments in how the state regulates public utilities. While Labour has continued to put competition and the consumer first, it has significantly improved many of the details of the regulatory process. Above all, the Labour Government has clarified that regulation remains at heart a political process that demands the state set a clear policy framework for balancing a range of policy objectives.

Dan Corry emphasises that the key issue now facing regulation policy is how to reconcile environmental objectives with the central focus of policy on promoting competition and delivering the lowest price to the consumer.