Saturday, January 22, 2011

Privatization lies

The next time a politician tells you that privatisation will save taxpayers money and improve service don't believe them. Frankly they are lying.

Privatization is a strategy to deliver public funds and public assets into the pockets of corporations and private interests. Simple as that.

The Melbourne Age reports the result of the Kennett  and Bracks Government's decade long experiment to privatizate Melbourne's public transport system.
"Victorians are being slugged more than $1 billion a year for Melbourne's privatised train and trams, six times more than the architects of the system forecast 11 years ago.

But, despite rising subsidies and a disappointing performance, current rail operator Metro is safe for now, with Transport Minister Terry Mulder ruling out tearing up its $8 billion rail contract.

Instead he put the operator on notice. ''What I would be looking for is continual improvement,'' he said. ''And I would hope within 12 months we would be able to see considerable improvement.An analysis by The Age, using government figures, reveals taxpayers have handed over more than $7.5 billion (in 2010 dollars) in quarterly payments to commercial train and tram operators since Jeff Kennett's government privatised the systems in 1999.
Mr Kennett promised improved service and patronage, declining subsidies, and taxpayer savings. ''Victorians are going to see the most dramatic and exciting change in their public transport system that you and I have ever witnessed,'' he said after signing 15-year contracts.
Mr Kennett's model ran into trouble in the Bracks government's early years when operators complained about poor patronage and inadequate subsidies. Rather than take services back into public hands, Labor re-wrote contracts and increased payments to operators.
Mr Bracks said the subsidies would decline over subsequent years, but the reverse occurred and subsidies paid in 2010 were six times that estimated by Mr Kennett and double Mr Bracks's forecast"

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