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Crazy air sale

Issue No. 1725

Crazy air sale

THE government suffered another defeat in the House of Lords on Monday over its insane proposal to sell off National Air Traffic Services (NATS). A NATS briefing document says there are plans to cut up to �165 million from the budget over the next five years if the planned privatisation goes ahead. This cut can only come at the expense of safety.

If more proof was needed of the disaster awaiting us if NATS is sold off then it came in a letter to the Times on Monday. The letter, calling for the House of Lords to pass NATS privatisation, was signed by, among others, Virgin's Richard Branson, the man who has made such a success of the privatised railways.

New Labour junior transport minister Phil Woolas also showed how out of touch with reality this government is when he appeared on TV on Monday. Incredibly, he claimed that privatisation is "working across trains, the underground and bus stations", and so it should be extended to air traffic control.

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Sat 2 Dec 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1725
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