With the Government looking set to back a third runway at Heathrow, Rob says that in reality the decision is a smack in the face for the thousands who have lost their jobs in industries such as our beleaguered steel sector. “The Prime Minister’s claim to want to ‘use the power of the state to build a fairer Britain’ is clearly a lie”, he says.
Rob, who is a member of the Transport Select committee and chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freight, says it was right for Mrs May to stop dithering about how to enlarge the country’s air capacity. “However,” he says, “once again the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people are ignored while selective big business is showered with government support, in this case to the tune of £9 billion pounds.”
Rob says he has no problem with the decision to choose Heathrow for expansion if that is the right one for the country. He says what has angered him is that, “another Tory government is preparing to throw huge amounts of cash at what might turn out to be a highly profitable project for a private company, Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd., which is primarily owned by Spanish, Qatari, Canadian, Singaporean and Chinese investors. Does anyone really think there would be such a clamour for more capacity if big business didn’t stand to make huge amounts from it? I have no problem with that. We want our companies to be successful. The question is, why does the taxpayer, including those steelworkers facing the destruction of their industry, have to pay for it? The Tories say they don’t believe in state intervention in industry. Tell that to the people of Port Talbot, Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool. Tell it to people in Redcar and Scunthorpe. The money’s coming out of their pockets.
“Mrs May told her party conference she wants to, ‘stand up for the weak... up to the powerful.’ It didn’t take long for those easy words to prove to be hollow and empty.”