Finally Gordon Brown has announced his solution to our money worries – a vast sale of some sixteen billion pounds’ worth of assets, including selling on outstanding student loans, the Tote, the Channel Tunnel rail link and the Dartford Crossing.
To Kent residents of course, this last asset is particularly worrying. You’ll have read elsewhere on this blog about the broken promises – first the revenue from the Dartford Crossing once the build costs were covered, would be split between Kent and Essex. That promise broken, each county was then promised the vastly reduced sum of a million pounds each a year. This was then reduced to Government allowing us “borrowing approval” to the value of a million pounds a year.
Of course, if Gordon Brown sells the Crossing to a third party, none of these promises need be honoured, and we stand to lose any benefit at all.
But far more worrying is that just when discussion is beginning about a Third Thames Crossing – irrespective of where it might be it’s unarguably needed – it looks likely that a deal with any prospective purchaser of the existing Crossing might be ‘sweetened’ by a promise from Gordon Brown not to build another Thames crossing in nearby proximity for a substantial period.
Let’s just hope the Prime Minister doesn’t miss an important meeting because he’s stuck in nose to tail traffic at Dartford…