What The Papers Say: Government fails to tame railway ’fat cats’

Government and ’fat cats’ came face to face yet again last week.

Government and ’fat cats’ came face to face yet again last


The National Audit Office (NAO) attacked the speed of the sell-off of

the rolling stock companies, while John Prescott admitted he was

powerless to stop the sale of Great Western Trains to First Group. There

were indications that Prescott’s White Paper on transport, due in April,

would contain measures to claw back profits on future rail sales.

Commentators were unanimous in blaming the previous Government for

rushing through the sale of the railways on the cheap. They also pointed

out that Labour’s avowed intention to re-privatise the network meant

that potential large-scale investors stayed away. Former BR managers,

ticket clerks and train drivers who gambled on remortgaging their houses

now stand to make huge profits.

It did not help matters when Transport minister Gavin Strang was

carpeted for suggesting the rail companies should be smacked with a

windfall tax without consulting the Treasury.

Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by The

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:


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