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Wednesday 14th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Union leaders demand Tories reverse £3bn cuts

RAIL unions called yesterday for £3 billion of London transport spending cuts to be reversed following the recent terrorist attacks, warning that security cannot be done on the cheap.

Aslef called for the government to “change tack” and end the “Conservative age of austerity” as they demanded additional resources for London’s transport system.

A spokesman from the union told the Star: “You cannot, or should not, try to do security on the cheap.

“And now, more than ever, it is clear that public transport in London and Transport for London need sufficient resources to ensure that passengers and staff can move out the capital safely.

“It is clear from the result of the general election on June 8 that people are thoroughly disenchanted with the Tories, and the Conservative age of austerity, and it is time for the government to change tack.”

Aslef’s demands were shared by RMT which will be raising the concerns in a meeting with London transport bosses today.

General secretary Mick Cash warned the government against pressing ahead with billions of pounds of planned spending cuts that will mean job losses and a threat to safety and security.

He also pointed out that whoever forms the new government won’t have the mandate to make the “savage cuts” to London’s transport budget following the general election result.

“The massive shift in votes in London away from the Tories was no doubt linked in part to serious public concerns over transport services, security and safety,” Mr Cash said.

“This minority government have no mandate at all to press ahead with over £3bn of cuts at [Transport for London] that would have a serious impact right across the board between now and 2021.”

He added that RMT will be stepping up its campaign in the months ahead to pressure the Tories to reverse the planned cuts.

London Underground director Steve White claimed that 650 new station staff will be recruited this year including 325 additional new roles.