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How will Corbyn fund nationalising the Railways, higher taxes?

(86 Posts)
Isitmebut Wed 23-Sep-15 09:45:45

To my knowledge the old British Rail was not annually making money.

We currently have record investment going into the railways, but Mr Corbyn appears to believe that under State ownership, the UK with £1.6 trillion of National debt and an unfunded pension liability of around £1 trillion on top, can put onto the State/taxpayer the risks/costs of acquiring rail lines, funding all investment and running them - when the State has a piss poor record of this.

I can understand why Corbyn and the public sector trade unions might want to do this, as its jobs for the boys and (unlike factories that closed in the 1970's) every time you 'sit around a table' you always get what you want whether the company is making a honking great loss or not - but how is it in the interests of the taxpayer with such an open liability, when the UK has such a huge national debt and still spending more than we earn?

Corbyn says it is a popular policy, but when will we hear how ££££ financially viable it is???

squidzin Wed 23-Sep-15 11:04:24

Give him a fucking day or two. Jeez...

SilverOldie2 Wed 23-Sep-15 20:22:22

Fortunately I doubt it matters really since his chance of winning a GE are miniscule non-existent. So he can continue to spout crap knowing he will never actually have to deal with the reality. Phew.

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 11:02:08

Unfortunately Corbyn’s ‘crap sprouting’ on trying to get a deeply indebted State/taxpayer to nationalise, invest in and run the UK railways with financial details given that would fit on the back of a match book, together with other 1970’s socialist threats/twaddle – can seriously affect the UK’s growth and prospects BEFORE he gets anywhere near power.

With the High Speed 2 (HS2,3,4 etc) project to better link the north to the south and then inter the northern cities in order to help promote better economic regional growth – the ongoing threat of the big hand of the State one day coming in either seizing or underpaying for rail lines, it will discourage private investment in this project – so as the UK looking for investment NOW, Corbyn has to give his State Nationalisation funding details now, as what will change by 2020?

Labour under Ed Balls running finances was both procrastinating and politicking about giving the go ahead, while a UKIP that wanted to electrify three new train lines in their 2010 manifesto, decided to then oppose HS2, no doubt as ‘the wrong type of electrified track’.

24/9/15; Osborne Invites Bidding For HS2 Building Work

”The official construction process for Britain's new high speed rail system has now begun, with the Chancellor opening the bidding for companies to begin building the railway line.”

”In an exclusive interview with Sky News, George Osborne revealed that companies would now be able to bid for the right to build the rail routes and tunnels for the first phase of High Speed Two, linking London and Birmingham.”

We don’t need to wait for one day to appoint some expensive socialist government Quango for them to report back in 3-years with the details of how it will cost the taxpayer a fortune and then be under funded thereafter, as they find another fat welfare state to fund - lets get it going.

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 16:33:48

"It comes as shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood said Labour would nationalise the railway system - including HS2."

But yet ANOTHER personal policy flip-flop once leader.

"Speaking about new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - who has previously voted against HS2 legislation - she added: "He supports high-speed rail, I support high-speed rail, and the Labour Party supports the continued development of HS2."

Like Labour saying they'd nationalise the power companies when we needed their money to buy several nuclear reactors at around £10 billion a pop - commercially clueless.

VictorJames Thu 24-Sep-15 16:37:01

I can't imagine enough people would ever vote for him so not too worried. He lives on a planet where we just print money and there are no downsides.

roamer2 Thu 24-Sep-15 16:48:02

We have the highest ticket prices in Europe. My train ticket to work has more than doubled since 2010

Our railways are now owned by foreign companies e.g. the national german rail company so our ticket prices are going to improve the german railways. Which is very good if you live in Germany... Also a bus company but I don't feel that it is going into the buses so our ticket prices are making money for bus company shareholders many of whom I suspect already have a lot of money..

I feel there must be a better system which would lead to cross country trains having sufficient carriages for their customers and not only selling nestle chocolate etc...

wonkylegs Thu 24-Sep-15 17:05:35

I always think it's ridiculous that our countries assets have been sold off to other countries state run companies (Dutch, French & German state rail companies run parts of our rail network, Canada - water, France & Spain - electricity/gas) - if they can make it work and make a profit out of it why is it completely out of the realms of possibility that the UK state could do it?

squidzin Thu 24-Sep-15 17:30:37

Victorjames "where we just print money and there are no downsides" I suggest you read up on QE vs Private sector Bailout and see if you spot any downsides...

CLUE: Austerity.

squidzin Thu 24-Sep-15 17:34:11

QE has upsides which do not include ever increasing prosperity for the wealthiest top centile.
Which do not include breadlining everyone else.

HamaTime Thu 24-Sep-15 17:40:35

The East Coast Mainline was profit making when in was in public hands.

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 17:47:13

wonkylegs ... HS2 is a drawing, not a railway, so nothing TO sell.

How much will HS2,3,4,5 cost?

How much will nationalising the current Victorian railways cost?

Whatever, we cannot afford it.

Re other stock exchange listed companies, there can always be takeover bids - UK companies buy foreign ones all the time, it is two-way street.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 24-Sep-15 17:50:48

That's true Hama
Renationalisation seems to me to be a misnomer though. The infrastructure is already publicly run. The operating contracts are just that and will expire. The rolling stock presumably belongs to the operator but what do they do with it if they don't win the contract again?

HamaTime Thu 24-Sep-15 17:52:45

Rolling stock is normally leased I think

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 24-Sep-15 17:57:00

In which case it would be a new contract for a publicly owned operator smile

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 22:06:41

The state grabbing privately run businesses while MAKING profits, does not mean that those operations will stay profitable – in fact as the State ran British Rail record shows (and other industries that were nationalised to stay in business but all failed) – that the state running our railways ONLY stays open ANNUALLY sucking taxpayers money in, or with closures stemming some of the loses for a while.

Money with our record national Debt, we can ill afford.

British Rail


Despite being nationalised in 1947 "as one of the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy” British Rail was not profitable for many years, probably most or all with narrow income (according to different sources). In fact there were examples (even during the 1990s), according to newspapers, that public subsidy was counted as profit.

As early as 1961, British Railways were losing £300,000 every day. It was thought that most of the nationalised railways, excluding some freight services, may, like any other privatised business with no income in the UK, cease to operate .In fact the nationalisation saved private business, helping investors who often achieved income in previous decades (e.g. 1870-1912)

Other usual discussion arguments cites the role of British rail as a sole transport option for many rural areas. However, after "The Beeching Report" many connections to towns and villages were cut, (whilst car ownership was growing) and public transport was nothing or based on coaches. Despite increase in cars and also road fuel prices since the 1990s, British Rail remained unprofitable.

wonkylegs Thu 24-Sep-15 22:13:34

Isitme - instead of ranting off on a tanget you should possibly read what other people post. My post said nothing about HS2 (of which funnily enough I know an awful lot about) . I was talking about why is it that if the German/Dutch/French etc state run companies can make our assets (rail/energy/water etc) run profitably why can't we. It is not an inconceivable notion as you make out because state run companies are already doing it just not our state.

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 22:35:10

wonkylegs ... re your "instead of ranting off on a tanget you should possibly read what other people post."

Firstly giving the history of the UK State run railway is NOT ranting, and secondly, read the first line AGAIN of my last post, and then read the Hamatime post repeated below - and then either feel free to apologise or FRO.

The East Coast Mainline was profit making when in was in public hands.

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 22:42:00

But re I was talking about why is it that if the German/Dutch/French etc state run companies can make our assets (rail/energy/water etc) run profitably why can't we.

But who is WE???

The State (who clearly can't run bathwater effectively), or the UK private shareholder run businesses that did such a good job, overseas companies bought them, as we buy overseas well run companies?

wonkylegs Thu 24-Sep-15 22:52:24

I'm not talking about east coast
I'm talking about the stakes in Abellio Greater Anglia, DB Schenker, Keolis (owned by SCNF), MTR( Hong Kong Govt) Velio Cargo (again SCNF), EDF, Aglican Water etc British former state owned entities now owned/run by other State owned companies just not British ones.

wonkylegs Thu 24-Sep-15 22:54:38

We is the UK state - as you know
There is no reason why these other countries can pull together effective management and we can't. I know we haven't necessarily done so at this point but thee is no logical reason it cannot be done.

Want2bSupermum Thu 24-Sep-15 23:03:28

The railways in the UK have been mismanaged for decades with awful underfunding and terrible management.

I don't think they should have been sold off in the first place but now they are I think there should be a stop to the subsidies. To nationalize, I would stop the subsidies and give these companies the option to sell back to the UK for a pound. All of them would do it.

The pension liabilities are an issue and it would interesting to see what the investment committee are doing about it. I think it is a case of an uneven distribution of employees with many in retirement or close to it.

While I would never vote for this 'new' Labour I do think he has a point regarding railways.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 24-Sep-15 23:19:28

Meh. We subsidise them in private hands so wtf is the problem with subsidising it in public hands?
Whilst we have the situation that privately owned companies can bid, win and walk away from contracts to provide critical infrastructure services to the general public, then we are in a stupidly vulnerable position. If you rely on a train operator to provide a service and they decide it's unprofitable and stop then who picks up the pieces? Why not plan rather than fire fight? Why be the safety net?
Or would you rather a private company bring more chaos to the network than the unions could only dream of?

Isitmebut Thu 24-Sep-15 23:43:28

wonklylegs ... may I suggest that you do your own home work on the history of our State utilities eg. electricity, which when privatised were then bought by other companies or merged giving less choice, mostly on Labour's watch.

But back to railways, I heard years ago that the Japanese railways were so deeply in debt, it was hidden.

But lest look at one example across the channel SNCF;

Debt-ridden French railways are hit by strike

”The industrial action comes just a week before the French parliament examines railway reforms, which could launch open access in France and also merge SNCF and RFF, which is heavily in debt. The French railway industry's total debts are now standing at more than €40 billion and there are fears that this total could double by 2025 unless the industry is restructured, but union leaders say the merger plans do not go deep enough and will fail to solve the debt problem.

And there we have a snapshot of our industrial/labour relations golden 1970's past, and apparently our future.

Happy daze.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 24-Sep-15 23:50:33

Mmm. And who operates our contracts? SNCF (or whatever it's called) the French operator. Nowt to stop them milking our commuters to pay their debts....

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