Topical Questions

Part of Transport – in the House of Commons on 22nd October 2020.

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Photo of Jim McMahon Jim McMahon Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

Transport operators have been devastated by covid, and it will take some time for them to recover to strength. The Government have stepped in to underwrite all the revenue risk of rail franchise operators, despite shareholder dividends being in the region of £1.7 billion since 2011. There was a sense that we needed to keep rail going, and that that was the right intervention, but the Government have gone further, paying out operators’ profits on top of that, with even more to come. Yet here in the nation’s capital, our essential transport workers, who are working hard to keep the city going, are routinely deployed to attack the Mayor of London. Why are the Government content to underwrite all revenue risk and bail out foreign Government shareholders, but not back the people of this country?