Thursday 20 June 2019 10:03 am

RMT rail union accuses Sadiq Khan of Tory cuts 'stitch up'

The RMT rail union has accused Sadiq Khan of carrying out “Tory cuts to the Tube” as it protests outside City Hall this morning.

The union claims that Transport for London (TfL), which Khan chairs, has “given up” on restoring central government funding to the transport body.

Read more: Tube strike action on the cards as Aslef and RMT unions reject TfL pay deal

TfL’s finances have been on the rocks due to the loss of the government grant, which took effect last year. TfL has had to manage with the reduction of around £700m per year, as well as the ongoing costs to the Crossrail delay and the loss of fare income from the project.

To cope with the stretch on its finances, TfL has carried out a rigorous cost-cutting programme, including a 30 per cent reduction in middle and backroom staff.

Earlier this year it said such measures had allowed it to slash its near £1bn deficit down to £500m.

Read more: TfL delays investment to ‘future years’ as debt climbs to £11bn

RMT boss Mick Cash said: “Staff across London Underground are furious at the attempts to smuggle in a creeping programme of cuts and privatisation under the cloak of the transformation programme and the fact that this stitch-up in being rolled out under the watch of a London Labour Mayor is disgraceful.”

A spokesperson for the mayor said: “This is categorically untrue. Government cuts of an average £700m a year to TfL’s grant have put London’s transport network under huge pressure, and Sadiq and TfL are continuing to campaign for their full reversal. Anyone who wants to see London’s transport service properly funded should be joining this campaign, rather than trying to deflect blame for government cuts onto the mayor.”