Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 October 2020

Transport for London funding crunch

TUSC says to Mayor Sadiq Khan: 'It's time to stand up to the Tories'

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance between the RMT union, Socialist Party and others to give an electoral alternative to cuts-making and pro-capitalist politicians, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to stand up to the Tory government and refuse to carry out any more cuts, as a new funding crisis faces the city's Transport for London (TfL) authority.

TUSC has consistently argued that local authorities have the potential power to compel the Westminster government to provide the necessary funding for decent public services. And, sitting at the centre of the city's arteries, there is no more powerful local authority than TfL, led by the London Mayor - if only there was the political will to fight.

TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

"The coronavirus pandemic has drastically reduced TfL's finances, but not society's need for a reliable, accessible and safe public transport system for London. For example, TfL transports a quarter of a million children to school every day. How would the city function without that service?

"In May the government provided emergency funding for TfL but that runs out on 17 October. Now TfL is saying that it needs 1.83 billion to cover fare revenue losses and other costs to maintain safe, socially distanced services to March next year, and a further 2.94 billion for 2021-22.

"TUSC supports the call for the government to fully fund TfL. It is an outrage that, because TfL no longer receives a regular operating grant from central government, it has become more reliant on fares income than any other major transport authority in the world.

"But lessons must be learnt from the deal agreed in May. Then, unfortunately, London Mayor Sadiq Khan blinked first, suspending the Zip Card allowing free or discounted travel for under-18s and use of the elderly Freedom Pass at busy times, and hiking fare rises above inflation. This time he must stand firm for funding without any strings".

RMT national executive committee member Jared Wood, representing London Transport workers on the union's governing body, said:

"Our union's policy is clear. We are calling on the government to fully fund TfL and London Underground. Passengers should not suffer a cut to services. Those who rely on free travel should not pay for the crisis in TfL funding.The aim of improving the accessibility of public transport in London must not be sacrificed either.

"And workers who have kept the tube and other transport services in London moving throughout the Covid pandemic must also not be made to pay for the crisis through attacks on their jobs and conditions".

Dave Nellist concluded: "TUSC's analysis of the TfL accounts shows that, like other authorities, it has the ability to maintain spending through using borrowing powers while fighting for proper government funding. The mayor has a choice. He does not have to accept government demands for cuts or fare rises to keep the tubes and buses running. Following the replacement of Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer as Labour leader, TUSC has agreed to resume contesting elections against Labour politicians who go along with austerity measures. It's time for them to stand up to the Tories - or face the prospect of a challenge at the ballot box by those that will."

TUSC has produced regular information on local authority finances including a comprehensive briefing document - Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget (2016) - detailing how councils' reserves and borrowing powers could be used to produce arguably legally compliant no-cuts budgets (available at

With an average debt maturity profile of 18 years, and identifiable future revenue streams in a post-Covid landscape, TfL is well placed to use its 'unsupported borrowing' powers to maintain a statutorily required balanced budget and avert a possible Section 114 'technical insolvency' notice while negotiating for government support. Cuts are not inevitable. The London mayor has a choice.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 14 October 2020:

Coronavirus news

Locked down, hard up, fight back!

As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

National Education Union must launch action now

Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

Under the microscope


Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education

Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

Building a movement to fight for free education

What we think

Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

Workplace news

Usdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union

NEU Special Conference: A fight for safety in schools is urgently needed

Napo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

University workers ballot for action against in-person teaching

Stop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

Unison: The Socialist is backing Hugo Pierre - for a fighting socialist general secretary!


Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?


Stop NHS meltdown

Transport for London funding crunch

Oliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice

Fighting Fund - we're off to a good start


Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020

International news

Greek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

Nigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit

Readers' opinion

Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

The Socialist Inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 14 October 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Trump defeated - what next for US workers?

triangleTransport for London given funding stop gap

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Britain, Burnham & the Tories

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Save the environment before capitalism destroys the planet


triangleRMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

triangleMayor and government compete to attack London transport: fight for no cuts!

triangleOnline rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!


triangleAfter Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation

triangleEx-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians


triangleRace disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

triangleSystem failing thousands of children in care

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialism 2020

How will Socialism 2020 work?



Optare: Right to strike defended


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist



Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now



Stop Leicester hospital closure



#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists


Young Socialists

Young Socialists organising for our future



Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all



Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion



Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts



Hackney council parking services brought in-house



Fight Tata Steel jobs threat - nationalise now!



Ex-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC



Donate to the Socialism 2020 appeal now!



Trump out! But mass workers' struggle needed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020