Jeremy Corbyn slams ‘disgrace’ of foreign firms creaming off millions from Britain’s railways

Corbyn controlled by the cabal.  Lord Falconer in his cabinet.  I ask you.

Newcastle ChronicleJeremy Corbyn arrives at Newcastle Central Station
Disgraceful: Mr Corbyn was strong-worded in his rebuttal of Tory policies

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at foreign owned railway companies, after it emerged millions in profits are being sent abroad.

Mr Corbyn said it is a “disgrace” that dividends paid to foreign shareholders are being used to subsidise railways abroad .

Figures obtained by leading rail union the TSSA show millions of pounds in profit from Britain’s foreign-run railways is being sent to help run transport systems overseas.

A whopping £9billion pounds was paid out by British passengers in fares and car parking charges last year with £600million made in profit.

Almost £200million was creamed off in “dividends” – much of which was paid to foreign rail companies.

Newcastle Chronicle Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Newcastle Central Station
Jeremy Corbyn arrives at Newcastle Central Station

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Corbyn said: “It seems the Tories have no objections to public ownership so long as the British public don’t get the benefit.

“It is a national disgrace that higher fares are squeezed out of Britain’s passengers every year so that dividends can be repatriated to Berlin, Paris or Amsterdam to subsidise other countries’ railways, or paid to private shareholders in Britain.”

And he reiterated his promised that renationalising the UK’s railways would be one of the first acts of a Labour government in 2020.

Mr Corbyn added: “ Labour has nothing against the public ownership of railways in other countries, far from it. But we want our own railways to be owned by the British people.

“Railways are part of the new green economy of the future. That’s why Labour is now pledged to bring our railways into democratic public ownership at home.

Rex Passengers waiting for trains
Renationalise: The Labour leader reiterated his desire to bring the railways back into public ownership

“A modern, publicly owned People’s Railway is central to our plans to rebalance economic growth, not just North-South but right across the country.

“So one of the first acts of the next Labour Government in 2020 will be to bring franchises into public ownership as soon as possible and start to create a properly integrated railway system with affordable fares – in the interests both passengers and taxpayers.”

German, French, Dutch and even Hong Kong’s rail networks, all of which are publicly owned, now own huge chunks of the British train operating market.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA rail union chief, wants the government to come clean about the extent of foreign ownership of British rail operating companies.

Read more: Rail fare increases see £10k season tickets as ministers blasted for being ‘out of touch’

Mr Cortes says it is “a national scandal” that so many foreign state-owned rail companies now either wholly-own or have huge stakes in Britain’s rail franchises, which he says are being run to subsidise the running of their own countries nationalised rail networks.

And whilst they cannot run companies in their own country at a profit, they can and do make huge amounts of profit off the British passenger market.

Mr Cortes said: “Passengers returning to work for the new year will be incensed to learn that they are being packed onto trains often like sardines to max the profits to be made from them, because they are a source of revenue for foreign governments.

“Their ticket prices are going up and the profits squeezed out of them will be repatriated in the interests of passengers in Germany, Holland, France and even Hong Kong.

“And we’ve got the nationalised rail companies of Denmark and Spain also queueing on their tails to get a piece of the British rail franchise action.

PA A person buying a train ticket
Outrageous: The British public spend £9billion a year on train travel

“This outrageous sell-off of British national assets has to stop. British passengers should not be milked to make the travel of passengers on public rail networks in other countries cheaper.

“The Tory government should come clean about just how bad the scandal of our rail franchise sell-off has become – and of course how much it costs the tax payer in subsidies.

“According to the government’s own Office of Rail & Road Report the government is now spending double the level in real terms for rail services than it was under British Rail in 1985-86.

“Britain’s rail industry shouldn’t be a lucrative market for the governments of other countries to make money from to run their own state rail companies.

“It should be a source of British pride with every penny of the £600 million profit made here reinvested here.

“The case for the British people owning their own railway system has never looked stronger.”

Should the railways be nationalised?


Should the railways be nationalised?




One Response to “Jeremy Corbyn slams ‘disgrace’ of foreign firms creaming off millions from Britain’s railways”

  1. RabbiT says:

    Corbyn must be following the Tap for cues.

    Q. Which government built Britain’s railways?

    A. Britain’s railway system was built by private companies, the first public railway as we know it today carrying passengers and freight being the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1825.

    After the First World War, economic pressures forced many small railways into decline.

    The Second World War took another great toll on the railways and on the state of the national economy in general, with the result that in 1948 the railways were nationalized as British Railways.

    By the early 1960s it was clear many rural railways had outlived their usefulness and would have to go. The result was the infamous Beeching Report of 1963 which led to widespread closures over the next few years.

    British Railways was relaunched with a new image as British Rail, and modernization continued. Steam was phased out by the end of the 1960s in favour of diesel and electric traction.

    By the 1970s, it was clear that existing outdated passenger stock was quite inadequate for an increasingly discerning travel market.

    The 1980s were bad for railways in the UK. Huge downturns in bulk freight traffic, the economic climate of the country and, above all, a political will that did not seem to include much of a future for the railways, led to more radical action being necessary; and by the 1990’s steps were put in place to privatize the railways once more.

    The operation had many critics and was not without considerable difficulties, but benefits to the end user in terms of improved services, improved reliability of service and better trains are now being seen.

    1994 saw the official opening of the (privately funded) Channel Tunnel, making the railways of Britain truly part of the European network for the first time.

    Now, in the 21st Century, railways are back in favour as a mode of transport, largely on account of their “green” credentials. Over the coming decades, many existing lines are to be enhanced or improved to allow higher speeds, greater capacity, and with electrification better efficiency. Major urban works are in hand with new lines such as Crossrail in London. High Speed Rail too has at last begun to develop in this country.

    There is good cause to be optimistic for the future of railways.

    It appears to me the private railways required to be nationalised due to the effects of WW1 and 2 and drastically pruned due to the development of the far more flexible road system.

    BR were unable to organise and modernise in the climate at the time and with private investment the UK now has a decent rail transport system.

    What can not be allowed to happen is for the passenger to be utterly fleeced due to the need and success of the current networks.

    Perhaps we should also reinstate we can all enjoy the simplicity of driving a Morris Minor?

    Methinks Corbyn should be looking at nationalising the Bank of England as a much more important and valuable policy that the state bank might in fact “be owned by the British people.”

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