Government must explain rail budget cut

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ASLEF, has called for the government to come clean about its plans to rebuild Britain after it was revealed that it has slashed £1 billion from its infrastructure budget.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: 'We have learned today that the government has cut £1 billion from the rail infrastructure budget following the Chancellor's spending review.

'Rishi Sunak promised record infrastructure investment as part of what he called the government's "levelling up" agenda. Network Rail's enhancement budget for the five year period from 2019-24 has been set at £10.4 billion. But Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris now says that budget will only be £9.4 billion.

'So what's happened to the missing money? And why has it suddenly been slashed?

'How is Britain to be rebuild after Brexit, and after the pandemic, which has ravaged this country's economy? And what has happened to this government's promises?

'This revelation puts a question mark over not only some long-planned, and much-needed, improvements to our transport infrastructure, but to the whole question of rebuilding this country after the pandemic.

'It's time for the government to come clean and tell us what they mean to do.'