Imagine stepping on the bus and not having to pay a penny for your commute. Sound like a dream? Well, it could soon become a reality thanks to Labour’s latest policy proposition.
The left-leaning political party has revealed plans to make bus travel completely free for anyone under the age of 25 across England, and will be publicly declaring that “young people deserve a break” when the full idea is revealed today.
According to the party’s figures, this could help up to 13 million young people across the country save as much as £1,000 per year. If you sit on one of the more expensive bus routes and regularly pay out top dollar for your trips, then this proposal could save you some serious cash.
How will it be funded?
It’s set to cost £1.4billion – yep, that’s a whole load of money – which would be covered by vehicle excise duty (road tax, to you and me) currently being used for road improvements.
Since 2012, bus fares in England have risen by an average 2.9% each year, which is higher than the average 2.3% rate of inflation, according to Department for Transport figures.
On top of that, current Labour leader Jeremy is set to deliver a speech today stating that young people “tend to be in lower paid, more insecure work, and they spend a higher proportion of their income on travel”, according to the BBC.
“Giving them free bus travel will make a huge difference to their lives.”
It will indeed, but the Labour party can’t make that difference without being in power. The current Conservative government has responded to the plans, calling it “another promise from Labour that they have no real ability to deliver”.
The party’s transport minister Nusrat Ghani added: “Last election Labour promised to pay off student debt if elected and then admitted it would actually cost too much to do. Now they’re bribing young people again with yet another empty promise.”
It seems extremely unlikely the Conservatives will ever implement the policy, so looks like young people will have to wait until the next Labour rule to see it come to fruition.