Posted by Hari on Thursday, December 15, 2016 with No comments | Labels: inequality, jobs, protests, taxation, transport
Chris and KJ realise it's Govia Southern Rail that has us over a barrel...
SOURCE TELEGRAPH: Taxpayers foot £50m bill for Southern rail strike
Because of a deal struck with Southern by the Government, the cost of the disruption will be borne by the taxpayer. Under the seven-year deal, the Government pays Govia more than £1 billion a year to run the service. Ministers agreed to bear the financial risk of running the railway because of the significant disruption caused by the redevelopment of London Bridge station. In return, the fees that Southern collects in fares are passed to the Government. It means that during the 20 days lost to strikes this year – when there are no fares to collect – the Government must bear the cost of £38 million in lost revenue. The deal also states that the Government will pick up the tab for compensation claims likely to be filed by passengers who have paid season ticket fares but have no services to catch – an estimated £15 million. Nick Herbert, the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs and a former minister, said: “Because of the way the franchise is structured, there isn’t proper accountability. It should be the company bearing the cost of compensation and failure to meet targets.” Meanwhile, Govia Thameslink Railway, the company that runs Southern, is saving an estimated £1.1 million in pay for train drivers and conductors who are out on strike this week. Govia could still be hit with financial penalties totalling tens of millions of pounds for delayed and cancelled services. However, it is claiming that disruption caused by strikes and staff sickness is a force majeure and it should therefore not have to pay the fines.