Union boss hits out at Tory dogma that let Thomas Cook go to the wall
Published on Tuesday, October 15, 2019
The Government has come under fresh criticism for refusing to save Thomas Cook.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of transport and travel union TSSA, said the Government’s decision not to step in was an ‘unnecessary act of self-harm’.
He said the Government was ‘mired in dogma’ by ignoring the fact the request from Thomas Cook bosses was not for a bailout.
His comments came after ITV revealed that ‘the decision to allow Thomas Cook to fail was ideological’ – after seeing a copy of the ‘commercial proposal’ the firm’s bosses submitted to government asking for help.
The proposal asked for up to £200 million of taxpayers’ money to recapitalise the firm.
According to the ITV, Thomas Cook bosses were clear this was not a bailout but a plan which would leave Thomas Cook debt free and solvent.
Commenting on the ITV Report, Cortes said: “It’s now clear that what I have been saying all along is true – the Government could easily have intervened to save Thomas Cook but chose not to.
“They did nothing because they are mired in dogma, and we now have the proof. Their mad non-interventionist ideology – central to the way this Conservative Government thinks – ignored the fact that this was not a bailout.
“Boris Johnson had the cheek to speak of Thomas Cook being a ‘moral hazard’ whilst knowing full-well that this was a reasonable request for help that would have saved at least 9000 jobs and stopped the repatriation of over 150,000 holidaymakers.
“Let’s not forget that Fosun – a major private investor – was still happy to back Thomas Cook to the tune of £450m. At the same time the British Government allowed dogma to get in the way pf common sense and good business sense.
“This left British taxpayers footing the bill for the Thomas Cook’s collapse – a total which is likely to be close to that which the Company sought to keep it solvent for the long term-term.
“Losing Thomas Cook, one of the great British High Street brands, was an unnecessary act of self-harm conjured by the Government’s ideological blindness.”
Former Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser, chairman Frank Meysman and chief financial officer Sten Daugaardergy are to be questioned by MPs today over the group’s collapse.
They have been called to give evidence before the government’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee.
Ex-Cook chief executives Harriet Green and Manny Fontenla-Novoa are also due to appear before the committee at a later date.