Shadow Transport Secretary warns that possible 2.6% rise on regulated tickets will make travel more unaffordable.
I normally have little (if any) sympathy with the Department for Transport, in the light of the appalling recent decisions it has taken on issues such as the refusal to compensate railcard holders, but I can see the problem regarding the fares increase in January.
The Government has given huge sums to businesses owing to COVID, and that includes to the transport industry. I think we all know that this is not a gift and will eventually have to paid back in better times.
That will inevitably mean tax rises of some sort, whether Income Tax, Capital Gains,
VAT or even all of them.
All businesses will therefore face higher taxes themselves, as well as their employees. And in the end, it’s bound to lead to higher prices, whether that’s higher shop prices or more expensive drinks in pubs.
So it’s to be expected that rail fares will have to go up more than usual as part of this payback to the Treasury.
I know the problem is that we want more people to use trains and a fare CUT would be better to attract them, but would it produce as much revenue overall?
Hard times are ahead.