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Aug
2014
Friday 22nd
posted by Morning Star in Britain


LONG-SUFFERING rail passengers’ subsidy of profiteering operators was laid bare yesterday by official figures revealing last year’s £2.3 billion net price tag of the largely privatised network.

Publicly owned East Coast — now earmarked for privatisation — was one of just three in 15 franchises that actually made money for the Treasury in the last year.

It generated £206.8 million for the public purse last year, which after deducting subsidies leaves the Treasury £19.9m richer.

But all the rest are heavily funded by the public, with Northern Rail the most expensive at 51.5 pence per passenger mile, sucking up a total of £707.3m in subsidies last year.

Private rail firms are handed grants by the government and then pay back some of the cash from revenues — but not before skimming off a juicy multimillion-pound profit for themselves.

Rail union RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said: “Whichever way these numbers are carved-up and spun they show that rail franchising is a one-way ticket to the bank for the private train companies.”




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