TOCS Paying Twice In Dividends What They Pay In Tax

RAIL UNION RMT released new research at their AGM in Brighton this morning showing that Britain's main private train operating companies are paying out twice as much in dividends than they are in tax.

Figures for the top five train operators showed that they paid just over 13% in tax on operating profits of nearly a billion pounds at a time when the basic rate of corporation tax is 23% and the standard personal tax rate is 20%.

In total, the top five train operators paid out £241 million in dividends to shareholders while paying out just around half of that - £123 million - in tax. The pitiful amount of tax paid pales into insignificance against the taxpayer subsidy of £2.48 billion soaked up by the train companies as they make a killing from Britain's privatised railways.

RMT is demanding a full investigation into the tax operations of Britain's train companies by the Public Accounts Committee with a focus on just how much money is being drained out of Britain's railways by overseas companies to subsidise their own train operations. Yesterday, RMT lifted the lid on the extent of overseas ownership of the rail network with more than 60% held by European state railways, using Britain's rip-off fares to subsidise their national services.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

"These new figures on the pitiful rates of tax paid by the train operators justify a full investigation probing into the rotten heart of Britain's privatised railways. We know that the government are terrified of lifting the lid on just how the British travelling public are being exploited because it would reinforce from top to bottom the case for public ownership.

"With the new Crossrail operation being lined up for the same gang who have plundered our railways for billions over the past 20 years it shows that this Government is prepared to tolerate the robbery on our railways in the name of pure political ideology. The fight for public ownership goes on."

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