We hear that the Government is going to buy rolling stock to lease to rail companies.
We already have a cartel small number of leasing companies providing rolling stock to the time limited monopolies operators.
So, the government invests OUR cash up front to buy rolling stock instead of the private sector leasing companies. I am certain that the leasing companies will squeal like stuck pigs if the government stock gets leased before their own inventory. Thus, the leasing companies are likely to get pretty close to 100% utilisation on their investment. Nice.
The government will pay up front and has a chance of being left with surplus stock - it is almost like UNDERWRITING the rail leasing companies losses for underutilised stock without the rail leasing companies ever having to pay a bean up front.
It is another example of Sociofascistic behavour. The government gets indirect control over the leasing companies - i.e. "do what we say or your fat profits are at risk", the leasing companies get their fat profits and the taxpayer is well and truly stuffed AGAIN.
UPDATE 2007-30-23: The BBC Story here. Hat tip: Not Proud Of Britain (But would like to be)