Our Ref: TFL/15/4
22nd December 2020
INDEPENDENT PANEL REVIEW – TRANSPORT FOR LONDON
TfL recently released the full report from the Independent Panel Review, commissioned by the Mayor, which focuses on increased funding and cost-savings. RMT attended a meeting regarding the report and the Union has already made it clear to TfL that this review is an attack on staff.
The National Executive Committee has considered the report of the so-called ‘independent panel’ and declared it is a disgraceful document that seeks to justify imposing job cuts, transport service cuts and additional taxation onto the working class of London. RMT rejects the report entirely and demands that the Mayor immediately does the same and undertakes not to act on any of the report’s findings.
The model of self-financing that was imposed onto TfL by the Government and was implemented by the Mayor of London was always going to fail. The idea of never ending increases in passenger numbers, fare revenues and commercial income was always a pipe dream but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the inevitable funding crisis.
No similar mass transit system in the world operates without public financial support. RMT demands that the Government immediately guarantees to fund TfL in order to maintain all transport services, jobs and conditions. RMT will not accept that TfL/LUL workers, users of the tube or the working class of London must pay to bail out the disastrous funding decisions taken by Government and the Mayor.
The ‘independent panel’ was commissioned by the Mayor to report on how to make TfL finances sustainable. The panel has reported that there is no case for any additional burden on business. The panel also rules out additional central Government funding. Instead the panel identifies cuts to the TfL Pension Scheme and cuts in off-peak services and station staffing levels as ways to save money. The panel also proposes road pricing for those who use a car in London plus additional council tax. The panel even proposes that the Government legislates to allow the Mayor to levy additional VAT on purchases made in London. The panel’s report comes hot on the heels of the KPMG report that was commissioned by the Government and short term funding agreement that itself imposes massive cuts onto TfL/LUL.
The panel’s proposals and the demands made by Government in return for funding until April 2021 represent an attempt to force austerity onto the working class of London and both will be resisted by RMT with every means at our disposal.
I will of course keep you advised of all further developments.