UK Government again just going ahead with ludicrous plans, which is going to cost and cause further turmoil to our struggling economy.
Chris Grayling (UK Transport Secretary) said:
“Britain’s new railway line will bring huge economic benefits across the country and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the south-east,”
This comment just shows this cabinet minister is either delusional or taking some form of medication that is making him hallucinate. The government promised to spread the wealth in the 1980’s with the introduction of the “trickle-down economics” system. Today the only individuals to have benefited from the government incentives are corporate organisations, wealthy individuals and minority of politicians.
Majority of the people of the UK have not had a pay increase over the last decade and are living on similar wages that they were on a decade ago. However, this time the true value of the pound is not the same, as it is weaker and the cost of living has increased dramatically.
While the politicians have had large increments in their wages since 1996, last-one in 2015 which was at least 11% raise in pay, as highlighted in previous blog.
The people who provide services of security, save life, educate our children, ensure the country is run correctly and fight illegal wars on behalf of the politicians get pay caps / freezes below the rate of inflation and cuts to services, which effect their lives, enhancing their workload and hours. Although the government continue to give false promises of raising or removing the pay restrictions in times of need as they did recently for the emergency services, but was found to be just false hopes or blowing wind up the people’s backside.
It is a known fact that construction projects on this scale never finish within the estimated budget and always far more, the projected estimate could be easily above £100bn.
Further statement made from the Cabinet Minister:
“We will now press ahead with building the line, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.”
It is great to now they will continue to ensure the affected communities get appropriate support and treated with fairness, compassion and respect. While to date, they have not been treated as the statement implies, this has come to some as a shock. UK has a housing shortage, it is in turmoil with regards housing people and this railway route will pass through areas with proposed and new housing developments. However the railway route has taken president over the housing and the developments will be stopped and new housing or housing obstructing the route demolished.
This is not benefiting anyone other than the minority class and minority of politicians on the receiving end of back-handers. The vote held in 2016, when the construction estimate was £30bn was a majority thought it was not absurd
Same wording in the statement above “while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect” was said with regards housing the people displaced by the horrific fire and aftermath of the tower inspections. Unfortunately, these people are still fighting to be housed and feel they have been forgotten, this government are using words but finding it hard to take physical action, as they do not care about the people that are effected by their plans.
Residents of the Shimmer housing estate in Mexborough have disputed that only 16 houses will be demolished by the new line. Karen Schofield, whose family farm is also on the proposed route, told the BBC that the government’s decision was
“Unthinkable”. “It’s the worst possible news that anybody wants to hear, that you’re going to lose your family home, which my husband and his brothers… they bought, what, 40-odd years ago,”
“There’s horses, there’s stables, we’ve provided employment for local communities… and it’s ok HS2 saying they’re going to compensate like-for-like… we’ve invited them to come down here and have a look what we’ve built up over the years.”
Although the government has setup a compensation scheme that will offer homeowners the “un-blighted” value of their home plus 10%. This will not be enough for persons to buy in the same areas. There should be no statutory compulsory purchase schemes, the residents of their homes, which are their castles should have not have been put in this predicament and the government should be re-routing or upgrading existing lines if they feel they need too.
Minority of the Members of Parliament have spoken out, Labour representative for Doncaster North Ed Miliband has spoken out and said putting the line through his constituency was “wrong and perverse”.
“It flies in the face of evidence, logic, and above all, the economic needs of South Yorkshire, the government and HS2 should be ashamed about the way they have gone about this decision. Their arguments do not add up, the consultation was a sham, and the residents have been ignored,”
While Philippa Oldham, Head of Transport and Manufacturing for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, states openly that the overall HS2 plan would be of benefit to the country. By freeing up the capacity on the East Coast Mainline, West Coast Mainline, through the HS2 route we’ll be able to shift some of our freight network onto the rail network from the road network.
Does she not think the rail network that we have in place today could be modernised to take freight from our road network, we do not utilise the railway and transport links we have in place today. Being realistic the majority of the freight received today is transported on the roads, however the number of good vehicle licences continue to fall. With HGV traffic is now below its 2007 pre-recession level. It is a known fact that the Logistic sector is suffering from skills shortages, which effects the efficiency of the business and operations. Another concern with shifting freight from roads to rail is cost, considering the price of using the rail infrastructure today and potential increase.
In addition if this is to benefit the people of the UK, what about West of England, Scotland and Wales, should the lines not be directed towards these parts of the country as they will probably lose out economically?
One of the strongest arguments against HS2 is the opportunity cost. Spend £56bn on HS2 and that’s £56bn gone from other projects. The UK is heavily in debt, public finances are stretched so spending is carefully prioritised and cuts to emergency and public services. But the government has failed to
Although the government will insist that the “High speed rail is the right answer for Britain.” it may be in the future when the country has not got major deficits in its revenue. In 2017, we cannot afford to keep our basic services in operational condition and continue to rob one sector to pay another sector, this is a money pit that will swallow up finances best used elsewhere.
Theresa May, must have magic money tree or gene in a lamp, the UK need to stop this pantomime and come to reality. Money is not available for these fantasies project, especially when we have future costs that will affect our budget. Nobody knows the true pricing of leaving the EU or replacing all the cladding on the Tower Blocks across the UK to date, let alone any other surprises we have around the corner
This HS2 project should be put to the public vote, as it affects our future in the UK and not everyone is backing it, the government have a agenda and has tried to sneaky this project under the radar, as MP’s were not informed of the go-ahead formally and there was no discussion.
The best part here is Chris Grayling is another Member of Parliament that has taken advantage of his position in the past and claimed tax payer’s monies (see link below) for his gains. How can we trust these people to work in the interest of the voters, when they are only interested in enhancing their wealth?