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Virgin East Coast is pleading poverty in talks with the DfT

28 June 2017

Responding to news that Virgin East Coast is pleading poverty in talks with the Department for Transport about a rescue package, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: "These robber baron privateers don't deserve a bail out, they need to be stripped of this franchise and kicked out of our rail industry and our East Coast mainline services must be brought back into public ownership and this time, left there making money for the country not greedy rail speculators.

"There must be no more bail outs for the robber baron privateers who are in the rail franchise business to make money off the back of the public purse. This will be the third time the government has bailed out a private company on the East Coast mainline. Last time they brought it in house and the state operator turned a loss maker into a profit maker and returned the millions to the treasury coffers. But rather than leave it in safe hands, the Tories flogged it off to major privateers Stagecoach and Virgin who have squeezed every drop of profit out of it.
 
"They've asset stripped it and now are now attempting to hold us to ransom by saying they want out unless the government props them up. The East Coast franchise is owned by two of the richest men in the land, Brian Souter and Richard Branson who have see their wealth increase whilst they have presided over another rail failure.

"Far from being bailed out, these men should be stripped of their knighthoods and their companies stripped of this franchise and barred from ever holding the keys to any public transport systems again. East Coast Mainline services must now be brought back into public ownership again and this time, left there to make money for the country not the greedy rail speculators."

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