Don’t fund high speed rail plans, say public

A YouGov poll shows that cuts to funding on a high speed rail project like HS2 is more popular then continuing to fund it.

The poll was commissioned by the TaxPayers Alliance earlier this week, and looked at several different possible cuts.  One suggestion was to cancel funding of a “a new high speed rail line between London and Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester”.

Of those polled, 48% said they would support a decision to cancel funding for the proposed high speed rail line between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, only 34% would oppose such a decision.

Cancelling funding to HS2 was particularly popular in Scotland, where only 1 in 5 would object.

As Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said

“Ordinary families are facing higher taxes and huge pressure on their finances, but the Government are wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. The public support alternatives that would blunt the need for some particularly painful measures and make room for lower taxes. There is strong support for cutting expensive projects like high speed rail, which they don’t see as the right use of their cash.

12 comments to “Don’t fund high speed rail plans, say public”
  1. Does anyone know how I get to influence the policies promoted by “The Tax Payers Alliance”? I’m a tax payer and I’d like to make my voice heard. Oh hang on – this news just in. Turns out they’re promoting their own agenda and aren’t remotely interested in what anyone else thinks. (Who does that remind me of?). Oh well. Win some, lose some.

    • @Rich: “Does anyone know how I get to influence the policies promoted by “The Tax Payers Alliance”?”

      Easy peasy @Rich, you just come up with some wizard new tax avoidance scams – after all the Tax Payers Alliance is synonomous with the “Pay As Little Tax As Possible Alliance”

      The TPA is a viscerally right wing grouping, more akin to the Tea Party wing within the hard right of the US Republican Party – their idea of heaven is a low (ie. none at all) personal tax environment in which everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and by that I mean every damn thing; no communal healthcare, no environmental protection measures, minimal (or none whatsover) community based public services etc. etc.

      Spend taxes on state of the art public transport schemes – hell no!, let me keep my hard earned pay so I can spend it on a big gaz guzzling car, which I can then share on the crumbling twelve lane freeway traffic jam with my fellow tax avoiders!

      • So what you’re saying Peter, is that they’re all about looking after numero uno and everyone else can sling their hook? OK, now I understand why “StopHS2” hold them in such high regard. Thanks for the info.

        • Let me put it succinctly to you boys, mummy and daddy cannot afford to buy you a new train set this Xmas we have to think about the expense of putting you though college, your auntie Vi going into a home, and dad awaiting treatment for his cancer. You have no idea how the real world works and just how hard it is for us who have funded your education to watch you acting like complete idiots wanting to spend money you don’t have on things we don’t need and land us with the bill.
          It is not a bad maxim to have “when you have earned it, then you can have it”.
          To paraphrase Mr McCawber “Annual income twenty thousand pounds, annual expenditure nineteen thousand pounds 97 1/2p , result happiness. Annual income twenty thousand pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds 2 ½ p, result misery.”

          • @john williams: “mummy and daddy cannot afford to buy you a new train set this Xmas”

            But that’s the point here (and everywhere else in the arguments against HS2

            It’s NOT THIS XMAS is it!?!?!

            It’s ten years or more before this expenditure kicks in and even then it’s scheduled to be approx £2bn per annum over 15 years or so. The same amount being spent right NOW on CrossRail and ThamesLink, so if you want to stop spending money we haven’t got NOWcancel both of them – I’m sure that idea will go down well in London (or not?)

            Clue; it really helps your case if you get your facts right?

          • You have no idea how the real world works and just how hard it is for us who have funded your education to watch you acting like complete idiots…

            I’m 43 John.

            • “Dear Mr. Williams,

              I must inform you that your Mortgage Application has not been approved.

              Also that your overdraft facility is withdrawn with immediate effect and your credit card is now void.

              As the Finance Agreement is cancelled, your car will be repossessed and will be collected on Tuesday.

              With immediate effect , all further business is to be conducted on a strictly “cash only” basis and no loans or any form of extended credit can be entertained.

              I trust that these minor alterations to our business relationship will not cause you any unnecessary inconvenience as we deem them to be in both your and our best interests.

              Assuring you of our ongoing confidence, I remain,

              Yours faithfully,…

              * * * “When you have earned it, then you can have it!”* * *

              This is an excellent precept- especially in the short term and for minor items;

              But it doesn’t always apply.

              A Power Station, a major Sea Defence Work or a large Dam; these may need to be built now with the benefit and “pay back” to take place over maybe half a century.

              Can “Daddy’s cancer” be left until the local community Hospital can collect enough small change to fund a treatment centre?

              “Saving up” is very praiseworthy, but Inflation ,over an extended period, can result in a necessary and desirable goal never being reached, as we see with would be first time house buyers at this time,with their savings earning less than the amount by which their value shrinks.

              Even hard headed Victorian businessmen came to see the benefits of a clean drinking water supply and proper mains sewerage,despite the huge cost of building these works.

              Thewy were investing for the future.

  2. Ho-ho-ho!

    Don’t suppose the TPA, who commissioned this study and no doubt instructed YouGov on the question itself, any background information supplied to respondents and general context, would like to suppy some background to this survey, you know, some facts for a change because this sounds like another of their fictional stories (Matthew Sinclair of the TPA was seconded to the NO2AV campaign who came up with a really good wheeze about the cost of AV – 90% of these so called facts were just made up, but they sure scared the public into voting NO to AV, so who knows, perhaps he can repeat the trick for HS2).

    If you want a particular answer, just phrase the question in a particular manner and hey presto, result!!!

    I’d like to take a bet right now that almost no information was supplied to potential respondents in advance concerning the timescales involved, ie. exactly when this funding was due to happen and how would be provided. I’d also wager that nothing was mentioned about the level of spending taking place in London on CrossRail and ThamesLink, right now!

    Result; A skewed sample of confused respondents answering on the basis of flawed information. Then all you have to do is forward your bogus output to the media, most of whom lap up stories like this because it makes their jobs so much easier – lazy journalists just copy and paste the bulk of a press release, change a few words sit down and pour themselves another cup of coffee.

    I suppose this is the StopHS2 website so what more should we expect?

    • If you want a particular answer, just phrase the question in a particular manner and hey presto, result!!!

      Like the questions in the consultation document then …

      • Yes, exactly like that @lelli0

        Did I claim the consulation exercise was unbiased – of course those conducting the survey want to see a positive response but those against are surely intelligent enought to skirt round that particular ruse?

        Having said that, responding with coached answers is also counter productive because this simply distorts the consultation results and is likely to mislead those involved in the design and construction stages.

    • Stop HS2 do not have to make up and distort the facts, the DfT have already done that. Stop HS2 are flat out trying to straighten them out, cut the glamourous diatribe and put the hard facts forward. They are not attractive and ‘sexy’ but all you have to do is engage brain, ask questions and use some logic. As soon as you get answers from the DfT and HS2 Ltd to detailed questions you realise how shallow the proposal is and they are selling it on spin, but you do have to open your mind and use some intelligence.
      Don’t criticise HS2 for reporting what the DfT and HS2 say when questioned. .

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