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13 October 2016
RMT Press Office:
Government rail subsidy of £4.8 billion is double mid-1980s level according to official report.
RAIL UNION RMT condemned the fact that official statistics released today showed that government subsidies to the rail industry totalled £4.8 billion, double what they were in the mid 1980s, while privateers continue to reap huge profits.
The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) Annual Statistical Release, which contains information on rail finance covering the period from 1985-86 to 2015-16, does not include the loans financing Network Rail.
Whilst claiming the £4.8 billion figure is a slight decline on last year’s the report also significantly highlights “it is still double the level recorded (in real terms) since the time series started in 1985-86.”
Mick Cash RMT General Secretary, said:
“No exercise in ‘smoke and mirrors’ can hide the simple truth that the railways are an essential public service with the taxpayer contributing a hefty £4.8 billion in 2015-2016 to keep the industry on track.
“We understand and accept why this essential public service is supported by government. What we do not accept is that a national asset, supported by passengers and taxpayers has become a corporate welfare racket for the private sector to suck profits out of, when working people are subsidising the operation to the tune of nearly £5 billion a year.”