Rail fares rise twice as fast as pay (and are set to go up an­other 4%)

Daily Mail - - News - By Alisha Rouse

RAIL fares have risen at twice the rate wages have since 2010, re­search shows.

Stan­dard fares have shot up by nearly a third – 32 per cent – while av­er­age weekly earn­ings in­creased by only 16 per cent.

An an­nual sea­son ticket from Chelms­ford in Es­sex to Lon­don now costs £4,000 – a fifth of the start­ing salary for a nurse or po­lice of­fi­cer – the Rail, Mar­itime and Trans­port union says.

The fig­ures were re­vealed today, the day be­fore com­muters are told how much fares will rise next year. The in­crease is ex­pected to be nearly 4 per cent.

The Gov­ern­ment raises prices each Jan­uary in line with the pre­vi­ous July’s Re­tail Price In­dex (RPI) mea­sure of in­fla­tion, which will be an­nounced by the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics to­mor­row. How­ever many pay rises are based on the change in Con­sumer Prices In­dex, which is lower. And mil­lions of work­ers get even less.

The RPI for this July is ex­pected to be around 3.9 per cent, lead­ing to the high­est in­crease in rail fares since 2012.

RMT gen­eral sec­re­tary Mick Cash said it was ‘a toxic com­bi­na­tion of fare rises eas­ily out­strip­ping wages’. He ac­cused rail firms of ‘pock­et­ing the prof­its while pas­sen­gers are pay­ing more for less’.

Sep­a­rate re­search sug­gests that UK com­muters spend up to six times as much of their salary on rail fares as pas­sen­gers in other Euro­pean coun­tries.

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