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Railways: Franchises

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require rail franchises and concessions which are operated in part or in full by non-UK companies to allocate to their UK operations profits which accrue in respect of those operations. (272394)

I have been asked to reply.

Activities undertaken in the UK, including the operation of rail franchises and concessions, are subject to UK tax whether undertaken by UK or foreign operators. The UK already has in place legislation to prevent profits from such activities being artificially diverted abroad. This legislation is kept under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the replacement of train franchises by fixed fee operating agreements. (273988)

Operating agreements with train operating companies may be considered when appropriate to discharge the Department for Transport's duty to ensure continuity of rail services.

This duty, under section 30 of the Railways Act 1993, allows action to be taken in a way which is affordable, delivers value for money and fits with the department's wider objectives.