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Labour pledge free bus travel for under-25s

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
Labour will fund free bus travel for under-25s if they win power, Jeremy Corbyn will announce on Thursday.
The Labour leader is set to unveil his party's new policy by claiming "young people deserve a break".
If they win the next general election, Labour are promising to provide the funds for free travel for under-25s to those local councils who take control of their own bus services, or put their services into public ownership.They claim as many as 13 million young people could save up to €1,000 per year through the move, at a €1.4bn yearly cost that Labour say will be funded from money raised through car taxes.However, critics have attacked what they estimate to be a vastly greater cost of the policy, and accused Labour of "bribing" young people while leaving "working people paying the price".
Labour pledge free bus travel for under-25s

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Jeremy Corbyn will claim 'young people deserve a break'
Mr Corbyn will make the promise during a visit to a sixth form in Derby on Thursday, where he will criticise "Tory austerity" for having hit young people's "incomes, their chance to buy a house and their career opportunities".He is expected to say: "Labour wants to help young people make the most out of life by investing in them, which is why today we are pledging the next Labour government will provide the funds to cover free bus travel for under 25s, to support them to travel to work, to study and to visit friends."Our policy provides help where it is most needed. On average, children, young people and households with children each have less disposable income than working age households without children."Young people also tend to be in lower paid, more insecure work, and they spend a higher proportion of their income on travel."Giving them free bus travel will make a huge difference to their lives."Labour's shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald will also accuse private bus companies of having run services "for profit not people"."Deregulated private companies choose to run only the profitable services and leave councils to plug the gaps left for non-profitable but vital routes," he will say.
"That's why we'll encourage local authorities to take back control of their buses so they can provide a better and more sustainable service to young and old alike, wherever they live."
Labour pledge free bus travel for under-25s

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Councils will be encouraged to take control of their own bus services
Labour have estimated the cost of their new policy at €7bn over the course of a five-year parliament, which will be funded through Vehicle Excise Duty revenues.In their manifesto for last year's snap general election, Labour promised to guarantee existing free bus passes for pensioners, while they also vowed to bring the railways back into public ownership.Transport minister Nusrat Ghani branded Labour's new bus fares policy "yet another promise from Labour that they have no real ability to deliver".Claiming the actual cost would be much higher, based on the number of potential beneficiaries and the savings Labour claim they would enjoy, the Tory MP said: "Labour admit themselves this could cost up to €13bn, meaning extra borrowing with working people paying the price."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."Our balanced approach to the economy means that we are able to help people with the cost of travel by extending railcards to everyone under the age of 30, while councils also have the power to offer cheaper travel for young people."John O'Connell, chief executive at pressure group the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Bus subsidies already run into the billions, costing each household €80 a year.
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"Why on earth should 25-year-old taxpayers on minimum wage subsidise 24-year-old bankers to nip between meetings and lunches in the City?"This is just another example of politicians trying to bribe people with their own money and the public should see through such shameless policies."
news.sky.com
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