Private Rail Bosses Use Covid Support Money To Line Own Pockets
With Ministers announcing rail reforms last week, new figures show the reality of the Great British Rail Rip Off as train owning company pays out £46.5 million dividend funded by Government COVID–19 support
Rail union RMT says that new figures show the reality of the Great British Rail Rip Off as a train owning company pays out a £46.5 million dividend funded by Government COVID–19 support.
Eversholt, one of the three Rolling Stock leasing companies who own more than 85% of trains running on Britain’s railways, paid their shareholders a dividend of £46.5 million for the year covering March 2020, to March 2021.
The government has guaranteed to pay all Eversholt’s lease charges under the bailout packages agreed with the industry and has done nothing to stop the Rolling Stock Leasing companies paying dividends during the pandemic.
Indeed, according to Eversholt’s most recent accounts, its Directors ‘do not believe that COVID-19 presents any material risks to the Group’ and say that ‘the key critical judgement in reaching this conclusion to be the UK Government’s continued support to the rail industry.’
Eversholt also crowed that problems with public financing and new fleets represented opportunities for even bigger profits, saying ‘pressure on public sector finances may play to our asset management strengths and existing fleet optimisation” and “Delays in competitor new build programmes has created lease opportunities for some of our existing fleets”.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“In the week when the government is set to announce the creation of Great British Railways its full steam ahead for the Great British rail rip off.
Even as Ministers have been finalising their plans for rail reform, they have funded obscene pandemic profiteering by a company that owns a quarter of the country’s trains.
While rail workers have risked and, in some cases, lost their lives keeping the country moving the Government have been keeping the gravy train moving for the rail fat cats.
Profits up, fares up, services, jobs and pay cut – we can expect more of the same this week.”
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