Select Committee report shows government needs to change its decision on Thameslink contract

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date: 15 December 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Friday 16 December 2011

Responding to the Transport Select Committee Report published today (Friday) on the handling of the Thameslink contract, TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

'This report vindicates concerns that the TUC and rail unions have raised repeatedly with ministers over the last eighteen months.

'The Thameslink procurement process has been flawed throughout. In particular, the Select Committee report supports our view that the financing arrangement that forms part of the tender skews the market. Bombardier never had a chance.

'It is still not too late for the government to do the right thing for Bombardier, its workforce, its suppliers and the UK taxpayer, and change its decision.

'The government must also learn lessons and conduct future procurement in a way that benefits UK business and taxpayers.

'Rolling private finance into the Thameslink tender has been a disaster as it benefits the UK's competitors and provides poor value for money at a time when public borrowing is significantly cheaper. This mistake must not be repeated in the Crossrail contract.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The Transport Select Committee report states that: 'It is hard to escape the conclusion that Siemens' A+ credit rating made a significant contribution to its success in winning the Thameslink procurement. We are concerned that bundling train manufacture and financing together in procurement exercises will skew the market towards larger multinational firms, possibly at the expense of excellence in train design and domestic manufacturing.'

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk

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