Daily View 2×2: 2 July 2009

2 Big Stories

The news has a state vs public ownership flavour at the moment:

Passengers to pay price for crisis on the railways
“A series of big projects are in grave doubt after the collapse of the highest-earning franchise exposed a deepening hole in the rail budget.

National Express East Coast is to be renationalised after the parent company refused to honour a pledge to pay the Department for Transport £1.4 billion in the years to 2015.

The DfT will have to accept a much lower sum when it puts the franchise back out to tender and is likely to be forced to pay up to £500 million a year to other rail companies that have been hit by the recession and can recoup most of their losses from the taxpayer.” [Times]

Sale of Royal Mail stake shelved by ministers [FT]
Peter Mandelson told peers yesterday that there was “no prospect” of part-privatising Royal Mail at present, despite the postal services bill having already gone through the Lords.

“Market conditions have made it impossible to find a partner on terms that would make it value for money to the taxpayer,” the business secretary told the Lords. “When market conditions change . . . we will return to the issue.”

Government insiders admitted that “political reasons” had been behind the decision to shelve the sale.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

% rise!
Willie Rennie on the real decisions to be made on public finances.

Garden posters in Norwich North
More musing on election signage from Nich Starling.

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