Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

"Labour say these changes would cost about £1.5bn per year. The funding would come from a wider change planned by the party to create a sustainable transport fund from the revenues bought in by vehicle excise duty, or VED, which is based on emissions."

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/01/labour-plan-cut-rail-fares-england-season-tickets

So motorists fliving in the poorer parts of England (and Scotland and Wales) will pay extra taxes to subsidise train fares in SE England and London where average wages are much higher.

Seems fair to me : tax the poor to subsidise the rich..

Edited by madf on 02/12/2019 at 09:43

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - daveyjp

No mention of extra taxes. Some VED revenue will be redirected and used for rail users over roads.

However as an almost daily user of railways well north of the south east my issue isn't the fare - it is reasonable and far cheaper than using the car and paying for parking. Encouraging more people onto the trains on some lines is simply not possible. The trains simply aren't long enough. 30 years ago my local station had 2-3 car units, it still generally has 2-3 car units. Last week it was a single unit for a rush hour service and from December this will be a regular allocation!

We are now getting shiny new trains - but they are still three car units because it was a zero growth franchise as Govt wouldn't commit extra funds for more units.

The extra infrastructure required to accommodate extra (v expensive) rolling stock to take the extra passengers will cost far far more than £1.5bn being spent on reducing fares.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

Apparently a Labour spokesperson got skewered on TV about this today when they let it slip that either VED would go up to compensate or that (more likely) the funding for road repairs would go down proportionately.

Given that the more wealthy commuter in the SE region of England would benefit from this the most at the expense of the rest of the UK, especially those in rural areas that are dependent on cars, this doesn't sound like a good idea, and apparently it wasn't in their manifesto either.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Andrew-T

Soon we will have a discussion about whether the millions of vehicles damage the roads (needing costly repairs) more than the potholed roads damage the cars - especially in winter if it is cold enough for repeated frosts. Either way, the VED theoretically pays for that, but of course there is a long-running conspiracy theory on that topic.

Another one about rail fares. We all expect a faster, more punctual, safe train service with enough seats for all comers. The increased speed and safety demand more expenditure, unfortunately - as the track must be closer to perfect alignment. And more coaches. So it continues ....

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - gordonbennet

Dunno about you lot but this election to me is a complete non event, i really couldn't care less who gets in we'll still have a parliament that despises us plebs, the electorate and will do its very best to carry on doing whatever it wants, subject to a politicised judiciary now having rule over parliament.

Manifestos mean nothing now, proved without a shadow of doubt this last term, its a job to know who's in what pocket, who's colluding with whom and what's in it for them, the wishes of the majority are to count for nothing and to be ignored and reversed at any cost.

We have not a single patriot to vote for, those of us who voted Brexit are denied voting for a party that intends taking us out of the EU completely if we live in a tory held constituency, leaving is what we voted for in the referendum.

In some ways i hope Corbyn wins, those who own the tory party appear terrified of him and his crew, so if they get him maybe it's nothing more than they and their bank accounts deserve.

No i won't be voting for any of them, whatever they might be saying now will be at best doctored half truth, or complete lies with the most obvious bribes for favoured easily bought groups thrown in, the best i shall manage is a message of what i think should have been on the voting slip, other than that if there's another referendum which is normal EU policy until the right answer is given i shall vote, other than that i shall never vote again in a general election, democracy is now dead in this country, only another Oliver Cromwell can save us now and i see no one that can fill his shoes.

The most disappointing person for me has been JRM, i was taken in by him and i am a fool for that, he's proved to be just another politician from the production line at Eton.

Sorry about the rant, but something i had to say.

Edited by gordonbennet on 02/12/2019 at 21:06

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - alan1302

democracy is now dead in this country, only another Oliver Cromwell can save us now and i see no one that can fill his shoes.

Nothing has changed with regards to democracy in this country - it's still going along as usual...people usually says it's dead when they country and is not doing what they want it - but it does not mean it is dead.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Terry W

Agree with most of this but I think Tories use the threat of Jeremy Corbyn to try and ensure they have a working majority and not a hung parliament.

Neither Tory or Labour have any moral authority. The former are lead by a person unfit to be PM through dishonesty and a complete lack of integrity. Labour will promise anything irrespective of whether the figures add up.

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy and this is before promises to women who feel they lost out on the pension changes, and free rail fares.

Realistically taxes will need to go up massively to get close to balancing the books. The argument that renationalisation and other investments will pay for themselves through future savings is an illusion - a bit like claiming a car bought on PCP or HP isn't really a loan..

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - bolt

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy

Well, let them do it for a change instead of the Conservatives, different faces will make a change even if we do go bankrupt, bearing in mind I suspect the Blues are lying anyway as usual

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - craig-pd130

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy

Well, let them do it for a change instead of the Conservatives, different faces will make a change even if we do go bankrupt, bearing in mind I suspect the Blues are lying anyway as usual

As you say, let another party have a go, because either way the figures do not add up.

The assumption that the Conservatives are somehow more fiscally prudent than Labour is completely, and demonstrably false. Since 2010, under the Coalition then the Tories, the UK's public debt has increased massively, despite the brutal austerity measures which have devastated social care, cut police & nursing staff numbers, and so on.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Andrew-T

<< let another party have a go, because either way the figures do not add up. >>

That is exactly the reason why we should ignore all these empty electioneering promises. It's normal for pledges made in the heat of the moment to slide quickly under the carpet when people use something bigger than an envelope to do the sums.

The saddest thing was the treatment voters gave the LibDems after their coalition, slamming them for not fulfilling their promises - when as the junior partner they clearly couldn't.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Gibbo_Wirral

Since 2010, under the Coalition then the Tories, the UK's public debt has increased massively, despite the brutal austerity measures which have devastated social care, cut police & nursing staff numbers, and so on.

Labour were also planning austerity measures for ten years too:

Alistair Darling admitted tonight that Labour's planned cuts in public spending will be "deeper and tougher" than Margaret Thatcher's in the 1980s, as the country's leading experts on tax and spending warned that Britain faces "two parliaments of pain" to repair the black hole in the state's finances.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/mar/25/alistair-darling-cut-deeper-margaret-thatcher

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - craig-pd130

Labour were also planning austerity measures for ten years too:

Doesn't really matter, as Labour never got a chance to implement any such plans. The point is that despite always positioning itself as 'the party of financial prudence', the facts prove that the Conservatives are anything but. As with most things claimed by the Conservatives. Yet voters are still taken in by their lies.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

Labour were also planning austerity measures for ten years too:

Doesn't really matter, as Labour never got a chance to implement any such plans. The point is that despite always positioning itself as 'the party of financial prudence', the facts prove that the Conservatives are anything but. As with most things claimed by the Conservatives. Yet voters are still taken in by their lies.

I recall one G Brown reciting every year his mantra "no more boom and bust" - for about 8 years in a row iirc.

That ended well ...

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

Agree with most of this but I think Tories use the threat of Jeremy Corbyn to try and ensure they have a working majority and not a hung parliament.

Neither Tory or Labour have any moral authority. The former are lead by a person unfit to be PM through dishonesty and a complete lack of integrity. Labour will promise anything irrespective of whether the figures add up.

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy and this is before promises to women who feel they lost out on the pension changes, and free rail fares.

Realistically taxes will need to go up massively to get close to balancing the books. The argument that renationalisation and other investments will pay for themselves through future savings is an illusion - a bit like claiming a car bought on PCP or HP isn't really a loan..

It is hard to vote for one party lead by a man who makes lying a normal part of life - and has been fired twice for it and another where finanicial innumeracy is its meme..

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - bolt

It is hard to vote for one party lead by a man who makes lying a normal part of life - and has been fired twice for it and another where finanicial innumeracy is its meme..

I have never heard so many people say they are not going to vote, so it looks like this is going to be an interesting election, not that I`m bothered, just fed up with it all including Brexit if it happens at all???

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Miniman777

Labour is lying to its potential supporters. It's dog whistle politics of the highest order, pure and simple.

If Labour won the election, slashing rail fares by a third is not as easy as they imply. Many train operators have signed franchise agreements in which certain revenue streams are assumed and predicted in return for premium payments. Others are on management contracts so take 2-3% of turnover, and their take would be lower. There could be other problems too which make the finances of an operator precarious.

If you slash fares, revenue falls and eventually the train operator will be in breach of contract unless the next Government re-negotiates contracts for lower revenue. It would open a can of worms as franchise were tendered for on the basis of future profits.

But if you slash fares, it will inevitably attract more passengers, so how will Labour deal with the increased overcrowding that will obviously occur? Cant use certain trains after December 31 due to changes in mobility regulations, and cant order more as UK and European manufacturers order books full for next 2 years with existing orders, yet the first two LNER Mk 4 carriages to be scrapped are currently sitting a Rotherham breakers yard, part gutted, ready for the gas axe. It's a set of ill-thought out statements from the party.

Let me also add that we are cutting up quality carriages, hundreds of others which are non-compliant are rotting away in Cambridgeshire and Warwickshire and more will follow next year, but we cant get new trains into service quick enough because of software or other faults. Not enough drivers have been trained on them because to do so would mean cancelling other trains to release them for training runs because operators have planned strategy badly and in a penny-pinching manner.

Add in that Network Rail which owns track and signals is a Government dept, and franchises are very tightly specified and managed by the DfT, as Labour has indicated it is unlikely to renationalise the rolling stock lease companies, what is there to re-nationalise. It isn't the panacea Labour claim it to be.

That's how crazy our railway are.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - oldroverboy.

And here we are in Spain this week. Seville to jerez in a modern 99 mph train for €6.90.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - barney100

Apparently Labour will nationalise the railways amongst other things. I've never known so many people with no trust in politicians of any party in this country, hardly surprising either. What we need is a strong, honest, moral leader but I can't think of anyone.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

Apparently Labour will nationalise the railways amongst other things. I've never known so many people with no trust in politicians of any party in this country, hardly surprising either. What we need is a strong, honest, moral leader but I can't think of anyone.

I would be strong honest and moral but after I told the truth - which is :

what they want is only affordable after tax rises-applicable to everyone,

:no one would vote for me.

:-)

Edited by madf on 04/12/2019 at 11:58

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Senexdriver

And here we are in Spain this week. Seville to jerez in a modern 99 mph train for €6.90.

I was in China earlier this year. Bullet train from Chengdu to Xi’an, a journey of 3 hours cruising at 300 kph (195 mph in old money) in air-conditioned comfort with barely a wobble or a bump to speak of and airline-style seating - £40. And punctual to the minute. China is a wholly different proposition to the UK, but we have a long way to go yet.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Terry W

Somewhat off topic but election related.

Link is to the BBC reality check on John McDonells claim that bills have risen by £6k per household

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50657736

He gets to this figure by (a) ignoring inflation, (b) assuming childcare for a 2 year old (c) that two adults in each household buy a season ticket to get work. Fairly typical of most households obviously!

This is utterly dishonest rubbish or clear evidence that Labour cannot be trusted with a bit of pocket money, let alone a whole economy!

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

He is a politician.

Anyone who believes what they say and is over 16 is brain dead.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - SLO76

And here we are in Spain this week. Seville to jerez in a modern 99 mph train for €6.90.

All subsidised heavily by the tax payer. A quick online check reveals that someone with a moderate income like myself would pay approximately £2,000 a year more in Spain than the UK. In effect you’re paying for the train whether you use it or not. I’d rather pay the correct price for a service when I’m actually using it.
Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Leif

Agree with most of this but I think Tories use the threat of Jeremy Corbyn to try and ensure they have a working majority and not a hung parliament.

Neither Tory or Labour have any moral authority. The former are lead by a person unfit to be PM through dishonesty and a complete lack of integrity. Labour will promise anything irrespective of whether the figures add up.

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy and this is before promises to women who feel they lost out on the pension changes, and free rail fares.

Realistically taxes will need to go up massively to get close to balancing the books. The argument that renationalisation and other investments will pay for themselves through future savings is an illusion - a bit like claiming a car bought on PCP or HP isn't really a loan..

It is hard to vote for one party lead by a man who makes lying a normal part of life - and has been fired twice for it and another where finanicial innumeracy is its meme..

Blimey, a politician who lies. He’s obviously very unusual.

I reckon Johnson does not have much in the way of morals or ideology, but that could work out for the good, as it means he cares for power, and will stay in the middle to please the masses.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

I reckon Johnson does not have much in the way of morals or ideology, but that could work out for the good, as it means he cares for power, and will stay in the middle to please the masses.

That's a desperate way of looking at it.

He obsessively craved the PM job, and he's unabashedly dishonest. That's the last person I want.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

I reckon Johnson does not have much in the way of morals or ideology, but that could work out for the good, as it means he cares for power, and will stay in the middle to please the masses.

That's a desperate way of looking at it.

He obsessively craved the PM job, and he's unabashedly dishonest. That's the last person I want.

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Bromptonaut

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

People will criticise Corbyn for all sorts of things - some fair some not.

But fundamentally he's an honest man in politics for the right reasons.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

People will criticise Corbyn for all sorts of things - some fair some not.

But fundamentally he's an honest man in politics for the right reasons.

Thanks for brightening my day with that joke. The man lies all the time, including on the debate last night (several times). He's about as honest as Joseph Stalin.

Very few politicians in the world don't lie (because it attracts dishonest people who lust for power, especially these days), and many of those are naive, deluded fools who should be far, far away from the levers of power, just for different reaons from the serial liars like Blair. Corbyn is, IMHO (and it seems, a huge number of people with experience of the Real World) a liar and a naive, deluded fool.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

People will criticise Corbyn for all sorts of things - some fair some not.

But fundamentally he's an honest man in politics for the right reasons.

Thanks for brightening my day with that joke. The man lies all the time, including on the debate last night (several times). He's about as honest as Joseph Stalin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50694698

Fact check of leaders' debate. There is a (unasked) question of how Labour will fund the WASPI compensation, that aside I think a fair summary would be that Johnson lied, Corbyn didn't.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

People will criticise Corbyn for all sorts of things - some fair some not.

But fundamentally he's an honest man in politics for the right reasons.

Thanks for brightening my day with that joke. The man lies all the time, including on the debate last night (several times). He's about as honest as Joseph Stalin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50694698

Fact check of leaders' debate. There is a (unasked) question of how Labour will fund the WASPI compensation, that aside I think a fair summary would be that Johnson lied, Corbyn didn't.

The BBC - so unbiased. What next - you quoting CNN as unbiased against Pres Trump? Corbyn lied about his links to terrorists, how the money is going to be raised to pay for his spending, whether taxes for the average person are going up, what Abbott said about MI:5, Brexit (including how he voted [no-one believes he voted Remain after decades of being dead against all the EU stands for and voting to leave in 1976]), anti-semitism.

Besides, saying you'd bleed the rich until they leave (and where does the money come from then) is hardly a ringing endorsement of his policies, especially as is IFS completely trashed the manifesto workings. And where do you think most people on modest and lwo incomes get their work-based pensions from? These will now be taxed via the back door because they are invested in companies that would have to pay vastly more taxes.

And to go back to the original issue of this thread, this extra (non-costed in the manifesto) spending on trains has to come from somewhere, and EVERY YEAR. Maybe they can claw some back by not paying glorified bus drivers £50k+ who bring the system to a halt because they can. Bring on driverless trains asap - which ARE safe.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

The BBC - so unbiased. What next - you quoting CNN as unbiased against Pres Trump?

Shooting the messenger. What sources would you approve of? The Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph, Sun? Find me a better source than the BBC - which Labour are complaining is biased in favour of the Conservatives!

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Even Major and Heseltine don't want to see a Conservative majority. Do you think something might have gone badly wrong with the Tory party?

Are you aware that the IFS is forecasting a similar government borrowing profile with a Conservative no-deal Brexit, which we might well end up with in just over a year's time, as it is with a Labour government?

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

At least the Telegraph has some credibility left. You do realise HJ writes for them? Given the Labour spend is way bigger than the Tories and relies on rich people not fleeing the country (with their wealth), somehow I doubt if they could spend any more without having to tax us until our pips squeaked or, assuming anyone would lend them the money, at ridiculouslu high interest rates, just like Argentina did, and Venezuela have done.

Both have rampant inflation and the former (Corbyn's ideal economy just a few years ago) is in ruins thanks to its socialist dictator, with journalists, opposition MPs and anyone who dares criticise them inprisoned or killed by his police.

This here isn't just about spending and union controls. What Corbyn proposes is only the start. Once we go down that path, we may never be able to get off it again, and ruination follows.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

If you're dragging Argentina and Venezuela into it, I give up. I've done my best.

Is HJ still writing in the DT? The motoring page was the best bit when I stopped taking it years ago. I was sick of seeing pictures of Kate Middleton.

In all seriousness, it has no credibility at all as a source of facts relating to Brexit which is fairly central to the election. The lovely proprietors have been described as "Brextremists". Good crosswords though.

I get the 'i' these days, principally because it doesn't take a position although it does publish articles covering different viewpoints. And it has a good crosswords

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

Any publication which pays the chief liar (Boris) £250k a year has ZERO credibility.

Their reporting is heavily skewed.

I read the DT and the Guardian and belive neither.

The BBC have a London centric liberal elite bias.. sometimes it suits one political party, sometimes the other.. They are overstaffed about 100% so have to find work. for underemployed staff..

I have expected a hung Parliament which will teach teh chief lair a few home truths..

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

As opposed to all his rivals from the other parties who never lie or want power for power's sake. Best of a bad bunch.

There's lying and lying. Johnson can lie like Trump - when he knows it's a lie, and everybody else knows it's a lie, he knows they know, and they know he knows they know. And he repeats them without shame until a different lie suits his purpose. Some say it's a sign of malignant narcissism.

I think I'd need a fairly severe bang on the head and significant brain damage to want to vote for Johnson, even if I could stomach current Conservative politics, which I can't. Why anybody who depends on wages to live would do so is a mystery. The country is literally falling apart, they have doubled government debt, and they plan to reduce taxes.

If Labour hadn't given us the NHS, do you think the Conservatives would? I don't. Austerity to them meant capping benefits and public sector wages for years. That they have apparently got away with blaming poor people for the financial crisis defies belief, I thought they would be crucified at the polls, but their supporters have deployed vast resources to brainwash the masses and convince them that unfettered capitalism is for their benefit.

Their principal function is to protect the rich and their money from the 'predations' of the hoi polloi, and to create new opportunities for their clients (donors) to skim public money by outsourcing as much publicly financed activity as possible. They are doing a great job.

Does that help? The fact that nobody else is beyond criticism is not an argument.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

Agree with most of this but I think Tories use the threat of Jeremy Corbyn to try and ensure they have a working majority and not a hung parliament.

Neither Tory or Labour have any moral authority. The former are lead by a person unfit to be PM through dishonesty and a complete lack of integrity. Labour will promise anything irrespective of whether the figures add up.

Labours manifesto would already lead the UK to bankruptcy and this is before promises to women who feel they lost out on the pension changes, and free rail fares.

Realistically taxes will need to go up massively to get close to balancing the books. The argument that renationalisation and other investments will pay for themselves through future savings is an illusion - a bit like claiming a car bought on PCP or HP isn't really a loan..

I don't know why you would assume that the country would go bankrupt under Labour because of spending any more than you would predict that the Conservatives' combination of giveaways and tax cuts would.

Labour probably needs to increase government income by up to 5% of GDP to pay for its plans, but that's a very crude assumption - it won't all be spent at once, and sensible borrowing should smooth things out.

There's no reason in principle that nationalised businesses that are viable couldn't pay for themselves. That is the basis on which their current owners run them, including the ones running on subsidies like the railways. Of course that assumes that they are competently run.

AT +5%, government income would be c. 40% of GDP cf. around 35% now. The small-state USA runs at 27%. But the USA has 40 million in poverty and another 40 million just above that level, so that's not really a good example of a country that works for the many.

40% is credible when compared with the Nordics. Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland all run at 50% or more. These are not notably unsuccessful countries. Neither are they directly comparable, especially Norway with its relatively vast oil revenues, but it does give some sort of perspective.

Labour has IMO rather overdone the promises. What they propose would be very disruptive and high risk if done quickly.

But that's what you get with elections, along with the outrageous smear tactics.

Divide all promises from whichever side by at least two, and ignore the Daily Mail/Telegraph/Express/Sun.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

The problem with nationalising anything is that the UK has a sorry record of long term failure of nationalised industries..

See

Steel

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders

The UK Coal Industry.

British Leyland

Basically all nationalised. And none of them really exist now..

And anyone who suggests UK Civil Servants can run them more effectivley is living in cloud cuckoo land (that is the polite version) As for politicians running them... !!!!!!!

Edited by madf on 05/12/2019 at 11:53

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - SLO76
“ And anyone who suggests UK Civil Servants can run them more effectivley is living in cloud cuckoo land (that is the polite version) As for politicians running them... !!!!!!!”


Exactly! Businesses must be run by people who understand the concept, who know the industry and aren’t allergic to the word profit. To politicise them is to ruin them and as we’re seeing in Scotland with the nationalisation of a ship yard it also excludes that business from bidding on much of the European market due to rules designed to discourage public sector ownership, trade union domination and unfair subsidy.

To bring it back to cars we need only look at the pitiful performance of BL under nationalisation. They never made a profit or a decent car. They were utterly dominated by the unions and political classes and instead of helping each private firm to compete with each other and producing good cars we ended up with a monstrosity that was competing with itself on a downward spiral. The difference post privatisation was like the light being turned on with the Rover R8 a true class leader.
Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - daveyjp

You have excluded the East Coast mainline.

GNER was excellent, since then it has failed twice in private hands. Once again it is back in public hands and gives by far the best experience of railways I regularly use.

Northern have never been brilliant, but they are currently an absolute shambles of an organisation - less than 50% of services on time and endless other issues which they simply aren't addressing.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - SLO76

You have excluded the East Coast mainline.

GNER was excellent, since then it has failed twice in private hands. Once again it is back in public hands and gives by far the best experience of railways I regularly use.

Northern have never been brilliant, but they are currently an absolute shambles of an organisation - less than 50% of services on time and endless other issues which they simply aren't addressing.

Sort term public ownership makes sense if it can’t survive on its own but if you put the lot under state control you’ll see the unions take control and politicians and civil servants with zero understanding will interfere with it. The only problem with privatising the likes of the railways is that competition cannot be directly brought to bear from other train firms which means customers suffer but the same is true with state ownership which always ends up stagnating and declining with a take it or leave it attitude. At least the private firms have to perform to a setting standard or they risk losing their franchise. Sadly, short of allowing multiple firms to run on the same lines the railways are always going to be a compromise. That said I can’t complain about the services on the West of Scotland which are efficient, reasonable in cost and comfortable with plenty of recent rolling stock and regular track upgrades. They do however have strong competition from the buses.
Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Engineer Andy

You have excluded the East Coast mainline.

GNER was excellent, since then it has failed twice in private hands. Once again it is back in public hands and gives by far the best experience of railways I regularly use.

Northern have never been brilliant, but they are currently an absolute shambles of an organisation - less than 50% of services on time and endless other issues which they simply aren't addressing.

All that happened when it was temporarily taken back into state hands was that, IMHO, the unions and their minions in middle management (apart from the top bods, THE SAME people are working for such organisations in day-to-day 'coal-face' and management roles) dialled down their sabotage campaigns.

I heard from reputable sources when I work for Tube Lines before they went back to TfL that ex-LU union staff were organising their colleagues (also ex-LU) to do shoddy/slow work, deliberately drive trains either too slow or too fast, but not so bad that it was really noticeable, and besides, many of those whose job it was to notice were also union men and women.

I was personally (verbally) threatened with 'trouble' if I gave one of my poorly-performing subordinates anything other than an 'average' in his annual review (despite his performance deserving a 1.5/5), and I found out later that it was common practice amongst 'outside staff' like me to 'pass around' these 'troublemakers' and 'useless staff', aided and abbetted by their union reps.

Back then (2005) Blair & Co was spending like billy-o on the nation's credit card, so most of my colleagues who came from outside of LU just kept playing 'pass the parcel' and 'I see no ships' with such people and practices.

Others deliberately held up projects because their signature was needed for the project to be complete (and heavy daily fines would be given if they didn't). I still see the same 'jobsworth' attitude with the railways in general - it's there if you pay enough attention.

I think that Labour and the union friends saw an opportunity when East Coast started having issues (not all their own fault - as a commuter on that line, I know a LOT are the fault on Network Rail [a government-owned organisation]) and deliberately made the situation worse. Often, the (external) top management don't have the cohones or the nous to take on the vested interests/unions of the long-term staff to exposes their treachery and put things right - often because it would involve getting rid of many skilled staff who (e.g. train drivers) cannot be replaced quickly or easily (station staff - not a job that most of us want).

Whilst I knew that politics was played, until I actually worked for (Tube Lines) such organisations, rather than (as a Building Services Consulting Engineer) with Public Sector organisations, I did not realise the scale of the behind-the-scenes sabotage that went on. It was one of the reasons I left Tube Lines and had deliberately shied away from working on Public Sector projects on a large scale (more than 33% of my workload) since then, up until I got fed up with whole Construction industry and left in 2017.

The whole industry needs a complete change - not renationalised, but to make privatisation work properly. Many people (like myself) are not voting Tory because they think their policies and way of working (whether under Boris or any of his predecessors) are great, but because we thing they are the least-worst option for now, given the alternative of Corbyn and his ilk.

This General Election won't be the sea-change many of us hoped (too many people not willing to change their voting pattern because they can't be bothered to think out the box or take a calculated risk), but, depending on the result, the next one will be.

It will mean that many of us, from here and elsewhere, who regularly discuss such issues and put forward excellent critiques or existing policy/management and suggest better ways forward (that the politicians and media are not) stepping up to the plate, putting the head above the parapet, whatever and taking a personal risk with our careers/reputation for the sake of the nation - because it's got so bad that the stakes are that high now.

It's the reason why the likes of the Chinese and Russians (and other unfriendly nations) are circling like vultures as our 'great and good' just either manage decline (the Tories) or actively help it along to varyying increasing degrees (the left-of-centre parties).

When I worked for Tube Lines, I got promoted (with a very nice salary bump) because I came up with some very handy ideas that saved them, and in turn, LU, a lot of money. I'm not blowing my own trumpet here - the ideas I came up with are relatively straight forward, common-sense ideas that the vast majority of Backroomers could come up with themselves - it's just that those colleagues coming from the LU side either didn't want to improve things for the reasons I stated earlier, or they were so ingrained in their old Public Sector ways that they couldn't see 'out of the box' because it just didn't occur to them that improving the way you work is part of everyone's job description.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

The problem with nationalising anything is that the UK has a sorry record of long term failure of nationalised industries..

Fair comment as far as it goes but It didn't help that we had a habit of nationalising industries because they needed rescuing. BL was a basket case well before the government was involved, the railways were unviable as they were worn out in the war and much of the network was a dead loss, etc etc.

Presumably most of the people running the industries would be the ones who are doing so currently.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - madf

The problem with nationalising anything is that the UK has a sorry record of long term failure of nationalised industries..

Fair comment as far as it goes but It didn't help that we had a habit of nationalising industries because they needed rescuing. BL was a basket case well before the government was involved, the railways were unviable as they were worn out in the war and much of the network was a dead loss, etc etc.

Presumably most of the people running the industries would be the ones who are doing so currently.

I suggest that either the existing management is incentivised by teh Government post nationalistion to make it work - in which case £million salaries.. or leave .

Given the shambles that HS2 is, I assume the head of that will be promoted to run the railways... if there are vacancies.

Or Chris Grayling is.. he will do hjsut as bad a job....:-(

AND IF profits go to the state, investment will stop as currently it is funded by borrowing.. and profits..

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Manatee

AND IF profits go to the state, investment will stop as currently it is funded by borrowing.. and profits..

They aren't reinvesting the dividends they pay out.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - SLO76
Here’s the tax receipts from the last 18yrs. As we can clearly see tax cuts work, they encourage economic activity which generates jobs (unemployment is historically low) and increases the total tax take. The opposite is true of tax increases. Every bribe made by Labour costed by flippant promises to tax the rich more will not result in more revenue, quite the opposite.


2018/19 623.36bn
2017/18* 593.96
2016/17 569.3
2015/16 533.7
2014/15 515.3
2013/14 493.6
2012/13 473.8
2011/12 472.3
2010/11 453.6
2009/10 414.9
2008/09 445.5
2007/08 456.2
2006/07 428.6
2005/06 402.9
2004/05 375.8
2003/04 347.9
2002/03 324.7
2001/02 321.7
2000/01 315.6
Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - SLO76
“ There's no reason in principle that nationalised businesses that are viable couldn't pay for themselves. That is the basis on which their current owners run them, including the ones running on subsidies like the railways. Of course that assumes that they are competently run.“

Nationalising business such as the rail or bus network simply hands control over to the big public sector trade unions that fund the Labour Party. Remember the crippling strikes of the 70’s? Do we want a return to them holding us to ransom?

They were privatised not so much to save money but to break the control of the trade unions. Today if one firm is c******d by a union the rest of the network continues to function. They can’t shut down our power network or transport hubs and believe me they’d love to be able to. I work with these old dinosaurs daily in the transport industry and they’re itching to get the picket lines set up again.

Edited by SLO76 on 05/12/2019 at 12:36

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Terry W

In the 1960s and 1970s the UK was known as the sick man of Europe. UK per capita GDP declined relative to the EU fairly consistently from 1945 to the early 1970s.

For those old enough to remember and those younger who have read some modern history this was a time of:

  • nationalised industries,
  • strikes,
  • three day weeks,
  • abusive and destructive use of power by unions,
  • an arrogant inflexible management culture

Thatcher and membership of the EU changed all this. The UK now ranks comfortably in the top three despite a much enlarged EU.

We should not risk renationalising industries - the public sector are not culturally capable of managing and developing a business. The reasons are simple:

  • private sector companies have a profit motive which drives them to find better, more efficient, cheaper ways to deliver services.
  • the public sector are inherently risk averse. It makes them bureaucratic, slow to respond, and high cost as they put avoiding risk and reputational damage much higher up the priority list than service delivery.

It's easy to find fouled up public sector projects - successful ones are rather more limited - HS2 costs, roll-out of universal benefit, new airport (Heathrow??), cross rail, Brexit contingency planning etc

The public sector has a governance role - create barriers to overexploitation, and inadequate services - etc. The current rule book may well need some revision but renationalisation is not the solution.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - daveyjp

An example of how bad Northern are.

A quote from a Manchester commuter.

"According to Northern’s own data, I haven’t got home once on time since May"

If you want to encourage rail use this isn't a good advert for private companies.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Terry W

"According to Northern’s own data, I haven’t got home once on time since May"

If you want to encourage rail use this isn't a good advert for private companies.

I'm not sure whether this is a failure of the franchise holder or a failure of effective governance - probably both. It is not of itself evidence of a failure of the private sector or an endorsement of the wisdom of state control.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Avant

Not of itself, I agree. But in this case the fault was with the incimpetent Major government of the 1990s which, for no obvious reason, set up an authority to run the tracks which was separate from the train operating companies. It still is, and they have been blaming each other ever since when something goes wrong.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Bromptonaut

Not of itself, I agree. But in this case the fault was with the incimpetent Major government of the 1990s which, for no obvious reason, set up an authority to run the tracks which was separate from the train operating companies. It still is, and they have been blaming each other ever since when something goes wrong.

They sort of tried letting the train operator run the tracks in BR's sectorisation which saw the old regions (Western, London Midland etc) abolished in favour of Inter City, Regional and Network South East etc.

On the Euston line it meant the fast tracks were 'owned' by Inter City while the slow or relief lines - at least as far as Northampton were NSE. It meant that access for fast commuter services to Milton Keynes and beyond to by pass the stopping services had to be negotiated and was effectively rationed. Fast trains to Northampton went from 58 minutes to 1:12.

Something similar was proposed in the nineties/noughties for the so called Passenger Upgrade 2 for Virgin's Pendolinos to travel at 140mph. Bletchley passengers would have had to double back from MK and other stations would have been left with one hourly service for much of the day as the commuter quart was pressed into the slow line pint pot.

Fortunately sense was seen and we now have good access to fast lines for services to longer distance commuter destinations and with 110mph running they have minimal effect on the 125mph (soon to be ex) Virgin services.

Alll - Labour to subsidise train fares by increases in VED - Terry W

Fundamental issue is that the tracks and infrastrucure are owned and run by Network Rail who are public sector and funded mainly by Government grants.

The rail franchisees operate the trains. Overall performance is measured by how the trains perform.

Basic problem is that franchises are let for around 10 years at a time - at renewal the existing franchisee can bid to extend if they want. Network Rail investments - track upgrades, station upgrades, bridges, tunnels etc are investments with a life of (say) 30 years+. No franchisee could afford to build infrastructure like this on the back of only a (say) 10 year franchise.

It needs very objective look at poorly performing franchises to understand whether:

  • the issues relate to the poor management of the trains
  • the issues relate to the franchisees expectation of infrastructure improvement not being delivered by network rail.

Unsurprisingly they each find ways to blame the other! As the government are the regulator they unsurprisingly tend to support network rail over the franchisee.

 

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