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High Speed Rail – to whose benefit?

In an interview following the publication of the report of the inquiry into high speed rail, including the Government’s proposal for HS2 – the chair of the Commons Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman stated her determination that those adversely affected should receive good compensation.

We agree that people should not lose out because of the scheme. However, if the the scheme is worth doing – which has not been demonstrated – the government’s choice of a route and its decision to build the line will result in winners as well as losers. Is it the government’s intention that those who benefit should pocket the gains? Where is the justice in taking tax from working people, and shovelling it into the bank accounts of the winning landowners?

Here is yet another instance of the infrastructure scandal whereby improvements and compensation are paid for out of taxation, but as always, the gains in improved land value are privately appropriated.