NEW LABOUR looks set to bail out Britain's air traffic control network less than six months after it was privatised. The government sold off 46 percent of the National Air Traffic Service for £750 million to a consortium of airline companies last July.
But a predicted first year profit of £60 million has turned into over £50 million of losses, and the government is likely to pick up the tab. In opposition New Labour said privatisation of the service would be a disaster, and declared that 'our air is not for sale.'
In government New Labour has said that privatisation was the only way to fund the air traffic system, improve safety and give taxpayers value for money. Private companies would pump money into the service, we were told. Instead privatisation will now cost us much more, as the government pumps more public money in to bail the private company out.