What are the dates of the 6 RMT strike days on the Merseyrail network and will the £273 million cost of the new trains rise if the UK leaves the EU?
Above is an invoice paid in March 2019 for 2% of the value of 52 new class 777 trains that Merseytravel are buying from Stadler Bussnang AG. This invoice was released to us on the 12th July 2019 as part of a request made using the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 in relation to the 2018-19 financial year. The invoice was requested as part of a collaborative journalism project with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Bureau Local project.
Since then two further payments of £513,557.92 and £513,558.00 (a total of a further £1,027,115.92) have been paid to Stadler Bussnang AG in April 2019 for invoices both dated 12th April 2019.
What you may not be able to read too well on the invoice above since it was resized and compressed is the following, “Intracommunity supply of goods according to Article 138 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC”.
Although outside the EU, as Stadler Bussnang AG is a company based in Switzerland it is considered to be part of the European Single Market as Merseytravel is based in the UK (within the EU) which is also part of the European Single Market.
However if the UK left the EU before either all 52 class 777 trains were paid for or received in the UK, it is possible that the original approximately £273 million price of the trains would increase due to tariffs imposed by the UK and/or Swiss governments. VAT wouldn’t be charged, but the level of tariffs (if any) remain unknown.
The RMT (Rail and Maritime Union) have announced a series of six 24-hour strikes. The reason for the strikes relates to the introduction of the new class 777 trains expected to enter service starting in 2020. The decision to buy the new trains was agreed by the Liverpool City Combined Authority on 16th December 2016 and a contract between Merseytravel and Stadler Bussnang AG was signed in February 2017. The strike is about how this impacts the future positions and role of the guard. Talks between the RMT and Merseyrail (facilitated by ACAS) have broken down.
Strike dates that have been announced will (unless called off) happen on Saturday 24 August 2019, Tuesday 3 September 2019, Thursday 5 September 2019, Monday 30 September 2019, Wednesday 2 October 2019 and Friday 4 October 2019.
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