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The privateers always win, says TSSA of new rail measures

21 September 2020

The government has today announced an extension of support for the rail industry in a move which rail union TSSA has said shows that "heads or tails, the privateers always win."

 The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) expired on 20 September and have been replaced with Emergency Recovery Management Agreements (ERMAs) which will continue to see government pick up the tab for the running of our railways.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Sadly, it looks like the government is once again kicking into the long grass what to do with our railways and instead of grasping the nettle is opting for transitional measures which prop up the status quo. The system was broken well before Coronavirus arrived, but the pandemic has completely exposed its many weaknesses.

“Heads or tails the privateers always win. There have been payments to private rail company shareholders of £100 million since the Emergency Measures Agreements came in, even though passenger numbers have plummeted. Frankly, it’s a national scandal that our money – taxpayers’ hard-earned cash – has been stuffed into the mouths of greedy rail shareholders at a time of a national health emergency.

“The Tory government must stop dithering about the future of our railways. Only public ownership will cure its many ills.”

Read the government announcement here.


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