Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/496/2659

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2007

London Underground...

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP

METRONET, THE private company responsible for maintaining and upgrading two-thirds of London's underground network under the notorious public-private partnership PPP scheme (part-privatisation), is heading for administration. This followed the rail regulator's decision to turn down its request for an emergency cash transfusion of 551 million.

Seemingly, this firm (a 'supergroup' comprising five allegedly 'world class' companies, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF and Thames Water as shareholders) underestimated the cost of refurbishing the tube.

Metronet fought fiercely for this PPP project, which was vociferously supported by Gordon Brown when he was chancellor. Metronet bosses claimed they would perform the job more efficiently. But they failed.

They gave priority to making big profits - they made 50 million in 2004-5 for example - but had got significantly behind on their station improvement programme, overspent massively and soon started begging the public sector to bale their company out.

Transport for London (TfL - London's public transport authority) has already been paying a monthly fee totalling around 860 million in the last year to Metronet to do the job it was contracted to do.

Taxpayers could now be hit by a bill of nearly 2 billion to pay off Metronet's debts. Supporters of privatisation claim that PPP transfers financial risk from the public sector to the private sector. But in reality when things go wrong, it's the other way round. Transport for London could be forced to pay back 95% of the bankrupt company's 2 billion debt.

Gordon Brown argued for PPP in discussions with Greater London Assembly chief Ken Livingstone. Now he has to explain why the Metronet 'rescuers', on packing their bags, are transferring all financial responsibility to the government and leaving the debts on our shoulders.

The Metronet fiasco may also bring into even sharper doubt Brown's support for privatisation and New Labour's belief that private profit can solve all problems.


Workers 'kept in the dark'

THOUSANDS OF workers will get new employers after the bankruptcy. Metronet workers told the socialist that they had been "kept in the dark about what was happening. We only found out later that Metronet had to borrow money to pay us our most recent wages.

"We think the work Metronet has been doing should be brought back in house."

Rail union RMT general secretary Bob Crow says he is seeking "urgent confirmation" that Metronet workers' jobs would be secure.

He said: "Very few people will shed any tears if Metronet goes to the wall, but in its death throes it should not be allowed to decimate the skilled workforce that will be needed long after the company is forgotten.

"London Underground can take over Metronet's functions, and it would be far more economic and efficient for Tube infrastructure work to be in-house, under the direct control of London Underground Ltd."

Bob Crow continued: "If a failing privateer goes into administration it should not be passengers who pay through increased fares or the scaling back of upgrades the tube desperately needs, nor should the workforce have to pay the price through attacks on jobs and conditions."

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 19 July 2007:

Build a new workers' party


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight cuts threat to London hospitals


War and terrorism

'Strategic failure' in Iraq and Afghanistan


Socialist Party news and analysis

Can flood relief get Hull back on its feet?

Bolivian oil workers request solidarity

Visteon workers walk out

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP


Postal workers' strike

Postal workers - fighting low pay, against privatisation and job cuts


Council cuts threaten schools

Lewisham schools: defending 'outdated' equality

Building resistance to schools closures in Cardiff


Socialist Party youth and students

Education - not safe in Brown's hands

Boost our pay: Organising for our rights at work


International socialist news and analysis

USA: The case for socialised medicine

Living in the GDR: Balancing between two different worlds

'War crimes' accusations by mine workers


Socialist Party workplace news

Glasgow social workers vote for indefinite strike

Defend democracy - stop the witch-hunt in UNISON

School dinners saved... for now


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007

Come to Socialist Party summer camp


 

Home   |   The Socialist 19 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

PPP:

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

Metronet:

triangleLondon Underground signals victory

triangleJohnson's Prince of Darkness

triangleWhat will Boris Johnson mean for London?

London underground:

triangleJustice for Tube cleaners demo

triangleConference opens debate on Labour and pledges to fight anti-union laws

triangleTube strike at London Bridge over unfair dismissal

Transport:

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleNationalise rail now

RMT:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2