Tag: bailout

Amtrak says 2,400 jobs could be cut without government bailout

  • Amtrak said Thursday that it could be forced to cut spending that could result in the loss of another 2,400  jobs in total.
  • Amtrak told Congress last month that it would need $4.9 billion in government funding as the pandemic continues to wreck the nation’s economy.
  • The US passenger railroad service already said in September that it was cutting 2,000 jobs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

U.S. government-supported passenger railroad Amtrak said on Thursday that without a new government bailout it could be forced to cut more spending and train services which could lead to the loss of another 2,400 jobs.

Amtrak last month told Congress it needs up to $4.9 billion in government funding for the current budget year, up from the around $2 billion in annual support it usually receives.

The railroad, which said last month it was cutting 2,000 jobs, said on Thursday that without more support from Congress, reduced capital spending would result in the loss of 775 jobs and further reductions in train service by state partners would likely result in 1,625 job losses.

Without the new funding, Amtrak chief executive Bill Flynn said, “we will be unable to avoid more drastic impacts that could have long lasting effects on our Northeast Corridor infrastructure and the national rail system.”

U.S. transit and airline demand has been devastated by a massive falloff in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, Congress gave Amtrak a $1 billion bailout after daily ridership fell by 96%.

Amtrak said on Thursday demand remains at about 25% of pre-COVID levels. It forecasts ridership and revenue for the 2020-21 budget year that started Oct. 1 will improve to “about 40% of pre-COVID levels, which is weaker than anticipated.”

U.S. passenger airlines are seeking a new $25 billion bailout to keep tens of thousands of workers on the job, while major U.S. public transit systems have sought $32 billion to keep municipal buses and trains running.

That’s on top of a $25 billion bailout public transit received in April.

Last week, the U.S. private motorcoach, school bus and domestic passenger vessel industries said they collectively furloughed or laid off an estimated 308,000 employees over the last eight months.

“Unlike other modes of transportation, such as airlines, rail and public transit, these transportation industries have not received direct economic relief to date, putting them in peril,” several trade groups said in a joint statement.

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Racecourse group steps up calls for UK government bailout of sports

The Jockey Club has stepped up calls for a UK government rescue of sports akin to the £1.5bn bailout for the arts industry.

Nevin Truesdale, group chief executive, said “we need the government to step in and provide direct support” for horseracing and the wider sporting community, citing the package for the arts announced in July. He pointed to the pandemic impact on revenues and the potential for widespread job losses without aid.

The government’s decision to halt plans to reopen stadiums this month has been met with frustration across British sport. Racecourse revenues have been hit hard by the absence of spectators at meetings, hurting their ability to continue providing race prize money.

Venue owners have urged the government to give greater clarity on when courses can reopen to spectators to help them navigate the crisis.

The Jockey Club said it now expected revenues lost from the pandemic to be more than its previous estimate of £75m. Its revenues totalled £214.6m in 2018.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been gathering information from the industry to form the basis of a potential support package, and Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, has met sports industry leaders to discuss support.

The racecourse owner — which stages the Grand National at Aintree and the Cheltenham Festival, two of racing’s highest-profile events — told authorities last week that the industry needed both short-term support and an easing of restrictions on race attendance as soon as possible.

Horseracing contributes £4bn a year in revenues to the UK economy and supports 20,000 jobs, according to the British Horseracing Authority, the industry’s regulator.

In August, the Racecourse Association estimated that its members would lose revenue of between £250m and £300m in 2020 alone as a result of the pandemic. Profitability was already under pressure because of betting shop closures, which have hit media rights income.

“The return of crowds is the most important thing,” said David Armstrong, chief executive of the association, an industry lobby group. “It would be very difficult if we didn’t have the majority of our crowds back in 2021.”

Last week, the Jockey Club confirmed that it planned to cut 70 jobs from its 638-strong workforce. Further cost savings will be made following a strategic review that will result in its 15 racecourses being operated under two regional groupings rather than four.

Mr Truesdale also urged the government to “give further consideration to how and when spectators will be permitted at our racecourses”, and raised concerns that the outlook for revenues in 2021 looks “very uncertain”.

Racecourses had been forecast to generate 47 per cent of their revenues in 2020 from racegoers, the RCA said, far greater than money generated from broadcasting and betting.

According to the RCA, which represents 59 venue owners, racecourses’ combined net debts of £455m were “much higher than commercial norms” at roughly seven times operating profits of £65.6m in 2018.

The challenges of the pandemic have led to renewed efforts by the industry to

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Committee adjourns on eve of deadline to repeal bailout law | National politics

Rep. David Leland, the ranking Democrat on the House committee, has been pushing for action before the Thursday deadline for weeks.

“House Republicans are going to let October 1st go by without doing anything to stop this ratepayer rip-off,” Leland said in a statement this week. “That means, in the middle of a global pandemic and an unemployment crisis, House Republicans are going to make hardworking Ohioans pay more on their utility bills.”

Leland also criticized that proponent testimonies for the repeal bills are from the same entities that testified for the bill’s passage last year.

Newly elected House Speaker Bob Cupp, who created the committee last month, said he wants to untangle the legislation “expeditiously” but also with care, as to prepare for any ramifications of the repeal.

The only way for lawmakers to ensure their constituents do not see the additional fee on their electric bill in January is for an emergency clause on the repeal, which would require 66 members voting in favor of it. Currently, 58 out of 99 House members have signed on to cosponsor bills that would repeal the law.

While lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have agreed the law and the process to which it was passed was corrupt, they have not proposed any concrete legislation to replace it with.

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