Fare rises further strengthen case for bringing railways back into public hands
24 December 2013
As rail companies in England announced fare rises for 2014, commuters and their household budgets received more bad news.
Firms are allowed to put fares up by much as 2% above the agreed price-increase figure which, for 2014, is 3.1%.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: "This latest price hike is going to put a dampener on many commuters' Christmas, and be a boost to support for Green MP Caroline Lucas's private members' bill calling for the railways to be brought back into public hands.
"Travellers face overcrowded journeys as standard on too many routes, on the most crowded trains in Europe.
"They face immensely costly journeys, and they know that more than £1bn of their cash is going into the 'black hole' of privatisation inefficiencies, plus billions more in declared and undeclared
"Casual users face a confusing fare structure that often leaves them paying more than they need or trapped with penalty fares due to confusion.
"It's time to say enough: privatisation has failed, we need to bring the railways back into public hands."
Government Failure on Flooding, Fracking and Climate Change
February 2014East Midlands Greens call for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to be sacked
Greens in the East Midlands have added their voice to the growing call for the Prime Minister to
sack Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. They cite a string of failures which demonstrate his
inability to fulfil his role as head of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).
His commitment to the failed Badger Cull, his incredible complacency over climate change, his support for fracking in rural areas and his inability to respond to the widespread flooding across the country all render him unfit for the post.
Kat Boettge, the Greens lead candidate in the European Elections this May said, 'We seriously need an Environment Minister who understands science. Paterson totally rejected the clear scientific advice on badger culling, which said that culling could make things worse, wasted millions of pounds of public money, and still he wants to roll this failed policy out across the country, including across the East Midlands.'
Ms Boettge revealed that Defra will spend just £17.2m on domestic climate change initiatives this financial year, a 41 per cent decline on the previous 12 months. 'The overwhelming majority of scientists and a growing number of economists are saying that this is the greatest threat facing human civilisation. Yet here we have a minister who is denying science, and saying that he wants to see fracking 'all over rural parts of the UK.'
The final straw for the Greens was the Environment Secretary's abortive visit to communities in flood-hit Somerset in which he spoke to the cameras but ignored local people affected by the floods. 'Flooding is a big risk to 40% of the Trent Valley, we need effective and well maintained flood defences and water management in our region; the Governments own advisers have said that flooding is the biggest threat we face as a result of climate change yet what does this Government and its Environment Minister do? Cut the budget of the Environment Agency by over half a billion pounds, and lay off 1700 staff.
'Paterson seems to have no idea what the environment means or what it means to be the minister for
it. People may view his comments about badgers 'moving goalposts' or anti-fracking campaigners
winning the arguments because of their 'exciting clothes and banners' as the lines of a stand-up
comic. Perhaps it's time he considered a change of career.'