Letter: Down the Tube

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Christian Wolmar falls for the Ken Livingstone argument that government can borrow more cheaply than private firms, thus London's Tube should be government-financed (Comment, 19 November). Government's ability to borrow cheaply rests on its self-appointed right to demand money with menaces from taxpayers. This dubious tactic is justified to pay for items with an overwhelming social justification. But to use it to subsidise an industry that can perfectly well pay its own way just distorts the economy. It may be that there are valid arguments for subsidising the Tube, but the above is not one of them.

R S MUSGRAVE

Durham

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