Boris hits poor with huge transport fares jump


12:00 pm - January 1st 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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From January 4th, millions of Londoners will return to work to find they have been hit by Mayor Boris Johnson’s huge fare increases:

– A single bus journey by Oyster up 20% to £1.20
– A weekly oyster bus pass up 20% to £16.60
– Six-zone peak single Tube fare by Oyster up 10.5% to £4.20
– A five-zone off-peak single Tube fare (outside zone 1) up 18.2% to £1.30
– Most Oyster pay-as-you-go Tube fares up by 20p per trip.

Overall tube fares will rise 3.9% and overall bus fares up by 12.7%.

The fares will disproportionately hit poor people across London at a time Boris has continually praised rich London bankers and argued against taxing them higher.

Last year Boris Johnson increased London transport fares by six% overall, but with some fares rising more steeply: including an 11% increase in a single bus fare on Oyster.

He has committed to more such annual above-inflation fare increases.

Theoretically, increasing fares should decrease income for London Transport as people are put off from travelling. And yet fares keep rising despite the recession.

But London’s occasional Mayor takes a different view when taxes are raised on the rich: arguing against them on the basis they will not raise any extra income.

In other words, if a policy hits London’s poor: implement it. If it hits the richest, argue against it.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Theoretically, increasing fares should decrease income for London Transport as people are put off from travelling

Only if you’re on the downslope of the Laffer curve. Presumably if income is going up with increased prices we’re still on the upslope.

Haven’t travelcard prices been frozen though? I believe that’s the first time they have been in years, having previously been subjected to regular above inflation price increases, with bus fares having been previously frozen. So this year it seems to have been switched around.

Perhaps you think poor people don’t buy travelcards though? I don’t think that’s right.

It would be nice, I think, if the prices for all tickets would just go up roughly by the amount of inflation each year, instead of all this fiddling about freezing some prices and whacking up others. So long as tube drivers demand and get above inflation wage increases, I guess that won’t happen though.

A taste of the future.

Except I think I see a campaign message:
‘Conservative Mayor of London Borris Johnson implemented massive fare increases for London’s least well off families, whilst arguing against taxes for the bankers that broke our economy, saying they should keep their bonuses. This is just a taste of what’s to come if Borris’ schoolfriend David Cameron is voted in to number 10. The Conservatives: for the richest, against the rest.’

And the trolls will say this is suicidal class war. Oh, I beg to differ.

‘So long as tube drivers demand and get above inflation wage increases, I guess that won’t happen though.’

oh yes, because this has nothing to do with the multi-million failure of Metronet, has it?

Just blame the unions, that always distracts from executive failure.

#2
Haven’t travelcard prices been frozen though?

There it is, the usual lazy “frozen travelcard” comment. I was wondering how many comments it would take until we read one.

It’s very straightforward.
1) If something has been frozen and something has gone up, overall the result is that prices have gone up. As simple as that. It’s not like saying that travelcard prices went down and cancelled out the increases. No. The overall result is prices going up FOR THE 2nd YEAR RUNNING.

2) Yes, you’re right. Not so wealthy people often don’t have enough cash to spend on a travelcard all in one go. If you, like me, are one of those counting the pennies each month to make ends meet, you would know that forking out for a travelcard is generally out of the question.

The same way you find that many not-so-wealthy people can’t afford to hoard shop because they haven’t got the piles of cash immediately available.

***
However, I will concede that we shouldn’t be too harsh on Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, because he may not be aware what the situation is like for the millions of plebs who weren’t born to a former MP and employee of the European Commission and World Bank, and to a professional painter herself daughter of a famous barrister. Oh these naughty “class warriors”…

I simply think it is a bit disingenuous of Sunny to highlight where the fares have gone up but not mention where the fares have been frozen. In previous years, those who attacked Ken over fare increases on travelcards did exactly the same, whilst downplaying the fact that bus fares had been frozen. It’s ridiculous, cheap political point scoring and I know Sunny can do better than that. I hold no flame for Ken or Boris. As I say, I’d like to see a uniform increase in all fares across the board in line with inflation, rather than this lumpy uneven increase and freeze we seem to get each year, whichever idiot happens to be sitting in City Hall.

PS I didn’t mention the unions at all in my comment. I’m a trade union member myself. My only (hopefully not unreasonable) assumption was that wages generally make up a large proprotion of any company’s outgoings. So if wages are continually rising at above inflation levels, then chances are a company is going to start raising the cost of its services at above inflation levels too. But if you have some proof that these fare increases are a direct result of the failure of Metronet, I’d be delighted to see it.

I have been in the position before where I’ve lived on one 10p pack of noodles per day for the last week of the month, so I know what it’s like to have to count the pennies, thanks. And I still had no choice but to buy a monthly 1-2 travelcard, because there was no other way to get into work. It’s a fixed cost that can’t be avoided for millions of people (poor and rich) and takes up an increasingly bigger proportion of your take home income the poorer you are.

“The same way you find that many not-so-wealthy people can’t afford to hoard shop because they haven’t got the piles of cash immediately available.”

I don’t understand this sentence.

“Theoretically, increasing fares should decrease income for London Transport as people are put off from travelling. And yet fares keep rising despite the recession.

But London’s occasional Mayor takes a different view when taxes are raised on the rich: arguing against them on the basis they will not raise any extra income.”

Mark M gets it.

Whether or not a rise in fares increases or reduces total revenues depends upon the elasticities.

Whether or not a rise in taxation increases or reduces total revenues depends upon the elasticities.

It’s an empirical question, not a party political or partisan one.

#7 “And I still had no choice but to buy a monthly 1-2 travelcard, because there was no other way to get into work

D, what can I say, congratulations, you’re better than most people.

I simply think it is a bit disingenuous of Sunny to highlight where the fares have gone up but not mention where the fares have been frozen
Absolutely nonsensical.I maintain, the word overal is eluding you big time.

What eludes me, however, is how a supposed ordinary person can take the trouble to sit down, go online and leave comments cheering, directly or indirectly, the fact that another aspect of life for ordinary people in 2010 is going to be more expensive and complicated. I congratulate you again, D.

D, if BT were to suddenly announce an increase of 15% in the price of local calls, 10% for mobiles, 8% for international calls and 5% weekends, would you browse the blogosphere so that you could leave comments saying that “no, you din’t mention night time rates have been frozen”?

Claude, what on earth are you talkng about?

Where did I claim to be better than most people?!
Where did I cheer, in any possible way, the fact that prices have gone up for some people unfairly?! For the third bloody time, if fares have to rise I would favour all fares only rising uniformly, in line with inflation
Where did I quibble with the point that, overal [sic] prices had risen? I would say that Sunny failed to take in the overall pictue by not acknowledging that some fares had not gone up.

It’s been a while since I commented here on LC, but has the standard of debate really sunk this low?

Claude, LC posts are syndicated into my reading list on LJ, hence I saw this, thought it was little unfairly written, and decided to comment putting forward that opinion, and hoping to have a sensible discussion about it. Is that OK? I thought that was how the comment feature on blogs works.

We could look at this the other way of course.

Assume that the rise in fares does increase revenue.

That means that there’s more revenue in the system to pay the Tube Cleaners that promised living wage, doesn’t it?

So this is a *good thing* then, isn’t it?

D,
a) yes, I know how overall is spelt. Thank you. Please do keep an eye on my future typos.

b) @2 you can’t expect to sink low with patronising stuff like “Perhaps you think poor people don’t buy travelcards though? I don’t think that’s right. ” without expecting a reply.

c) similarly, you seemed to be explaining or justifying the increases by blaming it on the unions (“So long as tube drivers demand and get above inflation wage increases, I guess that won’t happen though“) which is, forgive my French, utter ill-informed bollocks.

d) By dedicating the entire first paragraph of your post @2 to the notion that “Haven’t travelcard prices been frozen though?”, you may want to concede that your comment came across as fairly sympathetic towards Boris Johnson’s price hikes. How else should it be interpreted ?

e) “Where did I claim to be better than most people?!
You implied that even when going through some hardship you managed to save up for a travelcard. Respect the fact that some people aren’t able to do that instead of patronising people who simply canNOT afford it.

Oh dear.

Re; a) I’m sorry for focussing on the typo. I thought it was amusing that it was on a word that you had chosen to embolden to make a specific point. Your playground style of debate rather led me to reciprocate, which was silly really. Sorry about that.

Re: b) No, I was not intending to be patronising in any way. I’m sorry if you interpreted it in that way. My point was that poor people do have to buy travelcards as well. That was all.

Re: c) You have chosen to ignore my comment at #7. Please let me know what is unreasonable, or indeed bollocks, about the assumption that when a company has to pay above inflation wage increases to its workers, and where those wages represent a large proportion of the company’s costs, the company may need to charge more for the service it provides. I have acknowledged entirely this is just an assumption, and I’d be very happy for it to be disproved. So perhaps you could explain what you think the reason is behind the price rises and how increased wages have nothing to do with them.

Re: d) Again, you have chosen to ignore other things I have written, such as where I stated clearly that I hold no flame for Boris or Ken.

Re: e) No, I didn’t manage to save up for a travelcard when going through hardship. I simply had no option but to buy a travelcard at the start of every month in order to get to work for the rest of that month, and was hit by continual above-inflation price increases each year. And as a result my remaining income was so small that by the end of the month I often struggled to afford food. Fortunately, I am no longer in that much hardship, but many others are, and will be relieved that travelcard prices are not going up this year. That doesn’t in any way take away from the fact that other ticket prices are going up and those who buy them are going to be hit. But I think it’s unfair to only focus on those increases without taking in the full picture. People used to attack Ken every year when prices went up, without acknowledging where he had frozen fares.

I’m trying to have a reasonable debate here, but if you’re only going to selectively quote me and in order to attack straw men, then I’m not really sure what the point is.

If you’re poor, you can’t afford an *annual* Travelcard; that much is true. But the suggestion that you can’t afford a weekly Travelcard (but can afford to pay PAYG fares for the week) is bonkers.

The real reason the fares change hits the poor hardest is that if you’re poor, you’re more likely than someone who isn’t poor to have a bus pass rather than a Travelcard, and Boris has raised the prices of bus passes but not Travelcards.

(although @10 isn’t quite right. The fair comparison would be if BT were to freeze prices on the call tariffs that most people use, but raise rates for a minority of people on its cheapest tariffs).

Hmm, that looks a bit unclear on re-reading.

To be clearer, of course it’s possible to be so poor you can’t afford a Travelcard and have to take the bus instead

But it’s not possible to be wealthy enough to commute on the the Tube for a week, whilst simultaneously not being wealthy enough to buy a weekly Travelcard.

#15 D,
if you cut down on all the “oh dears”, “playground debate”, and various huffing and puffing and “I’m trying to have a reasonable debate here”, you’d probably realise that, likewise, I’m all up for reasonable debates and I haven’t insulted anybody. It isn’t my style. I could also point out that your debating style is irksome to the extreme, but what would the point be?

I did read your comments @7 and beyond, and yes, true, you clarified your position better. However, you will also concede that at the time of your comments prior to #7, we weren’t going to foresee your clarifications.

The crux of the matter is: if there’s an article or blog entry criticising Boris Johnson’s handling of bus fares and objective price hikes (that he himself admitted, he was very cocky about it, in fact), and you get a comment saying “Tut tut. You failed to mention the fares that were left frozen !!!”, said comment comes across as a defence of the Mayor’s fare policy. Which, in the middle of a recession, is quite unnerving.

As for unions and price hikes, here’s a simple fact: transport fares in the capital have been going up, sometimes way up the inflation rates, irrespective of staff wages for years.

Also, CPI inflation for Nov 2009 was 1.9 per cent (ONS figures). The RMT deal with London Underground Limited is based around a 1.5 per cent increase. (see here).

Blaming the unions for price hikes is wrong and trite.

Apologies for the bad link above about the RMT pay deal. Here it is.

It comes across *to you* as that. I’m not responsible for the interpretation you put on things. All I can do is try and do my best to restate and clarify my position, in as calm and plodding a manner as I can (a manner you obviously find irksome). Unfortunately though, despite this I think you’re still only seeing what you want to see in my comments. I don’t think you’re engaging in a reasonable debate, you’re selectively quoting and attacking what you imagine my position to be, hence your ludicrous claim at #9 that I was cheering the fact that life will be getting more expensive for oridnary people, or some such rot.

Is it the fourth or fifth time now? I am not in favour of this mayor’s or the previous mayor’s price hike policy. I would favour a uniform increase in all fares which tracks inflation only. I can say it again, if you like?

Using your own links, the RMT deal is based on RPI, not CPI. From 1 April 2009, the increase was +1.5%, when the chart you’ve linked to clearly shows that the RPI was negative in April 2009. In year two, the deal is RPI +0.5% (or 0.5% if RPI is still negative) i.e. an above inflation price increase.

Again, I ask you to explain to me what is the cause of the above-inflation price hikes then, and to explain why increased wages for workers have nothing to with it.

Third para of #20 should end “… an above inflation wage increase”. Sorry.

22. Sevillista

All the Union’s fault, right? Blame Bob Crow and the greedy tube drivers.

14,400 staff work for London Underground. Assuming their average
pay is £40K (a massive overestimate – but TfL don’t provide figures), the total paybill is £576 million.

A 1.5% increase in pay – based on this massive over-estimate – would cost £8.6 million.

Total LU fare revenue in 2009 was £1,800 million. A 3.9% rise in tube fares will raise an additional £70 million.

So:

Bob and the grasping tube drivers contribute 13% (9/70) of the planned fare rise. Shame on them.

“A 3.9% rise in tube fares will raise an additional £70 million.”

Well, that screws Sunny’s thought that a rise in fares will lower revenue then……

24. Sevillista

@timw

“Well, that screws Sunny’s thought that a rise in fares will lower revenue then”

Of course I’m assuming that demand is completely inelastic to price and there are no recession impacts on demand. Doesn’t make me right as it is an assumption, but it seems realistic to suppose demand for the tube is inelastic.

Maybe you’ve got some better estimates from TfL Tim?

Anyway, the point stands that to finance pay increases, tube fares only needed to rise by less than 0.5% to recoup the £9 million it
cost.

The fare rise has more to do with decisions the Mayor has made to shift revenue-raising from wealthy car-drivers (Congestion charge abolishing, CO2 charge
abolishing, council tax freeze) to the poor (bus users, PAYG tube users, no car) while making fact-free ideological policies that cost a lot of money (new Routemaster, stopping TfL consultancy for oil trade with Venuzuala).

@20
Instead of sneering at people’s spelling, do some research and you’ll know why I referred to CPI and not RPI. The CPI is the main inflation rate as used to compare prices in the UK as well as Europe.

Also. If you are so against all price hikes, why did you blabber that nonsense about some “travelcard prices being frozen though”. What was the point if not to provide some mitigation for the massive price increase that is going to clobber people all over London.

You may as well admit it that it was very unfortunate on your part.

Now why don’t you tell us factually why you think the unions are to blame for said increased fares aside from sweeping statements?

FFS! You just can’t help yourself can you?

You said: “If you are so against all price hikes etc blah blah”

Whereas I have said, many many times now: ” I would favour a uniform increase in all fares which tracks inflation only”.

Jesus christ! I’d hate to see you when you’re not trying to have a reasonable debate.

My point in raising the fact that travelcard prices were frozen, as I have already said, was to point out that not all prices have gone up, and it would only be reasonable to also point that out in n article about tube and bus fare increases. Just like when Mayor Livingstone raised fares, people would moan without correctly noting the fares that he had frozen.

I give up now. It’s pointless me saying the same thing again and again and you seeing whatever you want and having a go. Still, if that’s how you like to argue, then I’ll give it a go too. It seems like you want to try and paint me as someone who is delighted that the price hikes are going to have a negative effect for some poor people. It’s nonsense, it’s the complete opposite of how I feel, but if that’s what you want to believe of me then fine. I’ve said how I feel and if you still choose to believe the opposite then go ahead. This is a waste of energy for both of us.

LC ain’t what it used to be.

Sevillista – Thank you for taking the time to make a reasonable point based on what seem to me to be fair assumptions, something which seemed beyond Claude. I’m delighted to hear that it seems wage increases are not the major contributory factor to the price hikes, although I couldn’t quite fathom the logic beyond your assertions in the final para of comment #24. Could you spell it out in a bit more detail?

Calm down, D. I don’t wanna test the moderators so I’ll just leave it at this: happy New Year!

28. Sevillista

@26 D

The Mayor has made a number of decisions that have led to t
a big hole emerging in his budget.

To balance the books, he has to increase fares on the poorest.

It’s fairly simple – I don’t know why you need me to spell it out.

Don’t get me wrong – it is a fair choice and he was elected to achieve this
pro-rich shift in policy. But people would do well to remember this is what Conservative administrations look like and not to get hooked
in by the media PR.

Sunny, prices of which goods and services should be subsidised?

@24 Sevillista

The fare rise has more to do with decisions the Mayor has made to shift revenue-raising from wealthy car-drivers (Congestion charge abolishing, CO2 charge abolishing, council tax freeze)

But what if it’s been determined that the elastic effects of, for instance, the congestion charge mean that any increase in the charge will lead to a decrease in revenue, as drivers take alternate methods of transport? Of course we can argue about where on the Laffer curve we are until the cows come home, but it could well be that this decision was taken because other ones either wouldn’t work or were deemed too drastic.

@29 David Jones

I know you didn’t ask me but putting my two pennies worth in, I’m a supporter of the Negative Income Tax, so I would see no subsidies as such. Instead, I prefer the idea of giving the money to the people and allowing them to choose how it’s spent. Where’s the sense in, for instance, a council spending a million pounds subsidising bus fares when you could just give that money to the local people (council tax cuts for lower band houses for instance) and let them decide where the million pounds should go?

@Mark M

Negative Income Tax? Better, I suppose, than haphazardly directed and inexpertly computed subsidies on random services and goods.

@mark

“But what if it’s been determined that the elastic effects of, for instance, the congestion charge mean that any increase in the charge will lead to a decrease in revenue, as drivers take alternate methods of transport?”

1. But it hasn’t has it. There is no evidence suggesting this. Indeed, I think the most recent increase in the charge increased revenue.

2. Are you seriously arguing reducing the charge to zero in the Western extension will raise revenue? TfL themselves admit this will lose a lot of revenue.

3. The primary purpose of the charge is not to raise revenue in any case. Congestion Charging has lots of economic benefits (as the official TfL evaluation clearly demonstrated). Scrapping it will damage the economy while admittedly improving things for West London car commuters. Revenue raising is a useful by-product.

@ Mark M

Why do you insist on continuing to bring up the Laffer Curve, when it has been comprehensively proven to be unrelated even slightly to reality? In fact it was a doodle on a napkin made to fit around the policy of cutting taxes for the rich, not from any kind of rational economic theory.

But then that has always been the case with conservative economic policy – fancy language to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

Erm, sorry, but the Laffer Curve in its weak form is simply an obvious truth about the world. Tax rates of zero bring in no revenue, tax rates of 100% bring in no revenue because no one will bother to do the activity taxed so.

We also know that tax rates between 0 and 100% do bring in revenue. So there must be some rate between 0 and 100% which maximises said revenue.

Even Arthur Laffer doesn’t claim that this was an original insight. You can find the same thing in Arab medieval writing and yes, you can find it in Keynes.

The strong form (ie, the napkin thing) is that at current levels of taxation we are above the inflection point of the curve (or rather, Laffer was claiming that the US was then).

That’s an empirical rather than logical point and as such is highly arguable.

There will also be different Laffer Curves for differrent taxes on different activities in different societies.

For example, if you received your paycheque gross and then had to cough up the tax in cash once a year you’d see rather more note taken of tax rates than we have with PAYE with holding. Indeed, that was the reason that with holding was introduced (actually, an idea from Milton Friedman).

Similarly, taxation of capital (or returns to capital) in an open economy is going to have a different inflection point than taxation of labour: capital being more mobile. Same with consumption taxes and so on.

Even better, while people like Richard Murphy keep telling us that the Laffer Curve is a load of baloney they don’t act as if it is. Murphy’s latest plans to hoick up the tax rates on high earners are full of measures to stop them from changing their behaviour so as to reduce the tax take from the higher rates.

For example, the higher the tax rate the more likely that some (and the number is of course debateable) who will leave and go and pay their tax somewhere else. This is one of the things which will contribute to that inflection point of higher rates not increasing revenues. Murphy’s plan is that you pay UK tax wherever you live. Thus moving, changing tax residence, won’t make any difference.

But precisely that idea is an admission that the Laffer Curve is a constraint upon tax rates: why would you make it citizenship rather than residence as the basis for paying tax if you didn’t think that sufficient people would change their residence at the higher rates to reduce the tax take?

No, while it’s entirely possible to argue about what is the inflection point for any specific tax the existence of the Laffer curve isn’t in doubt nor it it’s connection with reality. The way tax reformers plan about raising taxes shows us that.

Why do you insist on continuing to bring up the Laffer Curve, when it has been comprehensively proven to be unrelated even slightly to reality?

‘If we assume, as is usual, that the revenue raised at the endpoints of 0% and 100% rates is zero, and we assume that there is a point in between where revenue is non-zero (and positive), and we assume that revenue varies sufficiently smoothly* with the rate, then the existence of a rate that maximises revenue in the interval is a mathematical certainty”

@32 Sevillista

1. But it hasn’t has it. There is no evidence suggesting this. Indeed, I think the most recent increase in the charge increased revenue.

Fair enough, I just posed the question. I’m quite open to the possibility that increasing the congestion charge will increase revenue.

2. Are you seriously arguing reducing the charge to zero in the Western extension will raise revenue? TfL themselves admit this will lose a lot of revenue.

No, I’m not. The logic of the Laffer curve is that if your tax rate is above t* (the rate that gives most revenue) then reducing tax rates gives increased revenues only while the rate remains above t*. Once below t*, reduced rates result in reduced revenue. So no, reducing the charge to zero in the Western extension will not raise revenue.

3. The primary purpose of the charge is not to raise revenue in any case. Congestion Charging has lots of economic benefits (as the official TfL evaluation clearly demonstrated). Scrapping it will damage the economy while admittedly improving things for West London car commuters. Revenue raising is a useful by-product.

The primary purpose may not be revenue raising, but in the case we have here you were suggesting increasing the c-charge was an alternative to increasing fares. Hence, the reason for the increase would be revenue raising.

@33 bluepillnation

If that’s the case why are we then not raising tax rates to 90% or more to help cut the deficit? After all, no Laffer curve effects would mean hugely increased revenues, right?

@31 David Jones

I’m certainly in a minority with my support for N.I.T., but I’m of the view that if we must have taxes (which I think we have to, in order to provide for the poorest) it is far better that money being spent by those people directly rather than on their behalf in some party political way by politicians and bureaucrats.

37. Sevillista

@markm

“in the case we have here you were suggesting increasing the c-charge was an alternative to increasing fares”

No.

In the case we have I was suggesting that retaining the Western Extension was preferable to increasing fares.

Scrapping the Western Extension will – on TfLs own figures – cost £70 million per year http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/congestioncharging/westernextension/options.aspx

Scrapping the CO2 charge was projected to cost £30 million per year on conservative TfL estimates http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7240309.stm

Scrapping the Venuzuala oil deal cost £16 million http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/London_Venezuela_Sign_Oil_For_Environment_Expertise_Deal_999.html

These policy decisions alone led to a ‘black hole’ of £116 million, without considering the implications for TfLs budget for the gimmicky New Routemaster time machine or of freezing the precept.

The fare increases – which the Mayor has targetted on the poor – will raise £125 million on TfLs figures http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/mayor-decisions/docs/20091015-md457-fares-2010.pdf

I’m sure it must be coincidence though – the fare rises have nothing to do with Boris’ decisions blowing a hole in TfLs budget.

It’s a fair political choice for someone elected by Chelsea tractor drivers
in large homes in the suburbs, but it’s dishonest
to pretend he is not shifting revenue raising towards the
poorest and least able to pay.

@37 Sevillista

Thanks for the links. Tells the story of London transport more fully for those of us not based in London, and certainly better than the story.

Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator (the feeling I get from the article is that some people think Boris loves finding any excuse to charge the poor more).

I’d have to read more about the decisions before working out whether I agree with them.

Having recently visited London for the first time in over a decade, I’m in a position to reveal something that neither full-time provincials nor full-time Londoners probably realise – which is that public transport in London is NOT more expensive than elsewhere in the country.

Hey, I know, it surprised me too. You’d certainly never guess from the way they bang on about it all the time.

I noticed the same thing in relation to other prices as well – the “London premium” has almost entirely disappeared on anything other than housing. Now I’ll grant you, if you’re paying more per week in rent than I do in a month, it may well be that your finances are getting squeezed… but it’s also pretty obvious to me that the reason for that is not rail fares.

40. John Booth

Poor and lower-middle class people living in the inner London boroughs didn’t vote for Boris anyway. So he has nothing to lose by hitting them, and I’m sure he planned to all along – probably as revenge for not voting for him.

However, the man’s a blinking idiot for hitting people who have to travel into central London from the outer boroughs, where his votes come from. Not everyone who voted for him was rich!

41. John Booth

Poor and lower-middle class people living in the inner London boroughs didn’t vote for Boris anyway. So he has nothing to lose by hitting them, and I’m sure he planned to all along – probably as revenge for not voting for him.

However, the man’s a blinking idiot for hitting people who have to travel into central London from the outer boroughs, where his votes come from. Not everyone who voted for him was rich!

Having recently visited London for the first time in over a decade, I’m in a position to reveal something that neither full-time provincials nor full-time Londoners probably realise – which is that public transport in London is NOT more expensive than elsewhere in the country.

Hey, I know, it surprised me too. You’d certainly never guess from the way they bang on about it all the time.

I noticed the same thing in relation to other prices as well – the “London premium” has almost entirely disappeared on anything other than housing. Now I’ll grant you, if you’re paying more per week in rent than I do in a month, it may well be that your finances are getting squeezed… but it’s also pretty obvious to me that the reason for that is not rail fares.

@37 Sevillista

Thanks for the links. Tells the story of London transport more fully for those of us not based in London, and certainly better than the story.

Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator (the feeling I get from the article is that some people think Boris loves finding any excuse to charge the poor more).

I’d have to read more about the decisions before working out whether I agree with them.

44. Sevillista

@markm

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re probably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

45. Sevillista

@markm

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re probably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

Thanks for the links. Tells the story of London transport more fully for those of us not based in London, and certainly better than the story.

Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator (the feeling I get from the article is that some people think Boris loves finding any excuse to charge the poor more).

I’d have to read more about the decisions before working out whether I agree with them.

Poor and lower-middle class people living in the inner London boroughs didn’t vote for Boris anyway. So he has nothing to lose by hitting them, and I’m sure he planned to all along – probably as revenge for not voting for him.

However, the man’s a blinking idiot for hitting people who have to travel into central London from the outer boroughs, where his votes come from. Not everyone who voted for him was rich!

48. Sevillista

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re probably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

Thankss for the links. Tells the story of London transport more fully for those of us not based in London, and certainly better than the story.

Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator (the feeling I get from the article is that some people think Boris loves finding any excuse to charge the poor more).

I’d have to read more about the decisions before working out whether I agree with them.

50. Sevillista

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re probably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

I was so upset last time THE PRICE WENT UP that now I started a new WEBSITE called TUBEJOURNEY.COM where you can buy and sell on your journey to get the most out of your fare. GET RID OF STUFF YOU DONT NEED AND MAKE MONEY TO PAY FOR YOUR JOURNEY

CHECK OUT THE SITE EVERYONE

http://www.tubejourney.com – LETS GET OUR OWN BACK!!!

love it? Please tell everyone and the press if you can!

AJ

I was so upset last time THE PRICE WENT UP that now I started a new WEBSITE called TUBE JOURNEY.COM where you can buy and sell on your journey to get the most out of your fare. GET RID OF STUFF YOU DONT NEED AND MAKE MONEY TO PAY FOR YOUR JOURNEY

CHECK OUT THE SITE EVERYONE

http://www.tubejourney.com – LETS GET OUR OWN BACK!!!

love it? Please tell everyone and the press if you can!

AJ

53. Sevillista

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re prob ably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

Poor and lower-middle class people living in the inner London boroughs didn’t vote for Boris anyway. So he has n othing to lose by hitting them, and I’m sure he planned to all along – probably as revenge for not voting for him.

However, the man’s a blinking idiot for hitting people who have to travel into central London from the outer boroughs, where his votes come from. Not everyone who voted for him was rich!

55. fraisefleur

I am absolutley fuming!!!!!!!!!! I am soooooo angry. How there he. I understand that there is a hole in their budget but why should we pay for it by increasing our travel fare. I am very dissapointed with Boris and his way of thinking: £13.80 to £16.60 – are you taking the P…. The worst thing about it is that we are paying so much and the service is S….T. What will it be next year, £20 for a weekly bus pass!

Thanks for the links. Tells the story of London transport more fully for those of us not based in London, and certainly better than the story.

Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator (the feeling I get from the article is that some people think Bo ris loves finding any excuse to charge the poor more).

I’d have to read more about the decisions before working out whether I agree with them.

“Perhaps he is shifting the burden of revenue raising onto the poor, but I still don’t think that’s his primary motivator”

You’re probcably right. He is just indifferent to
the poor when faced with the hardships that
wealthy people face – bonuses were a few thousand
pounds short this year after all

Oh dear.

Re; a) I’m sorry for focussing on the typo. I thought it was amusing that it was on a word that you had chosen to embolden to make a specific point. Your playground style of debate rather led me to reciprocate, which was silly really. Sorry about that.

Re: b) No, I was not intending to be patronising in any way. I’m sorry if you interpreted it in that way. My point was that poor people do have to buy travelcards as well. That was all.

Re: c) You have chosen to ignore my comment at #7. Please let me know what is unreasonable, or indeed bollocks, about the assumption that when a company has to pay above inflation wage increases to its workers, and where those wages represent a large proportion of the company’s costs, the company may need to charge more for the service it provides. I have acknowledged entirely this is just an assumption, and I’d be very happy for it to be disproved. So perhaps you could explain what you think the reason is behind the price rises and how increased wages have nothing to do with them.

Re: d) Again, you have chosen to ignore other things I have written, such as where I stated clearly that I hold no flame for Boris or Ken.

Re: e) No, I didn’t manage to save up for a travelcard when going through hardship. I simply had no option but to buy a travelcard at the start of every month in order to get to work for the rest of that month, and was hit by continual above-inflation price increases each year. And as a result my remaining income was so small that by the end of the month I often struggled to afford food. Fortunately, I am no longer in that much hardship, but many others are, and will be relieved that travelcard prices are not going up this year. That doesn’t in any way take away from the fact that other ticket prices are going up and those who buy them are going to be hit. But I think it’s unfair to only focus on those increases without taking in the full picture. People used to attack Ken every year when prices went up, without acknowledging where he had frozen fares.

I’m trying to have a reasonable debate here, but if you’re only going to selectively quote me and in order to attack straw men, then I’m not really sure what the point is.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. David NP Ludlam

    :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V (via @libcon) Buffoonary begins

  2. Elaine Bagshaw

    RT @LawrenceMills: RT @libcon: :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  3. tommyhawkins

    Liberal Conspiracy » Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  4. Jess McCabe

    "if a policy hits London’s poor: implement it. If it hits the richest, argue against it" – Boris hikes bus/tube fares http://bit.ly/69jbvf

  5. Adam Bienkov

    RT @jester "if a policy hits London’s poor: implement it. If it hits the richest, argue against it" http://bit.ly/69jbvf

  6. David Cameron

    A sound Tory approach: "if a policy hits London's poor: implement it. If it hits the richest, argue against it" http://bit.ly/69jbvf

  7. Cassandra

    RT @AdamBienkov: RT @jester "if a policy hits London’s poor: implement it. If it hits the richest, argue against it" http://bit.ly/69jbvf

  8. ROLDRIOT

    RT @libcon Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/6EWBo5

  9. Laurie Penny

    @MayorOfLondon from Monday, bus and tube fare hikes will punish London's poorest: http://twurl.cc/1zvv Happy bloody 2010 to you too, Boris.

  10. Rob Watson

    Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V (via @libcon)

  11. Liberal Conspiracy

    :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  12. Lawrence Mills

    RT @libcon: :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  13. Tweets that mention Liberal Conspiracy » Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liberal Conspiracy, David NP Ludlam. David NP Ludlam said: :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V (via @libcon) Buffoonary begins […]

  14. Lesley Bruce

    RT @libcon: :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  15. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by libcon: :: Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  16. athena25

    Oh, and fuck you Boris and your increased transport charges. http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  17. Mona

    RT @athena25: Oh, and fuck you Boris and your increased transport charges. http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  18. Pgadz

    Liberal Conspiracy » Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/4FPE0V

  19. Down to work « Bad Conscience

    […] Hundal has already flagged up Borris Johnson’s London transport price hikes, many of which will affect the poorest the […]

  20. andrew

    Liberal Conspiracy » Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport …: About the author: Sunny Hundal is editor of… http://bit.ly/7gkHxI

  21. The day the pennies dropped about Boris – all 20 of them « 853

    […] frequently than that from Boris’s real opponents. Liberal Conspiracy’s Sunny Hundal hit the nail on the head which Val Shawcross, or any number of London politicians, failed to do. “If a policy hits […]

  22. Claire Butler

    Try being poor, Boris. Oh, yeah, you got no idea.. – RT @libcon Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/6EWBo5

  23. Liberal Conspiracy » Unite union to campaign against Boris fare rises

    […] an unprecedented leafleting campaign to raise awareness of who is to blame for London Transport fare rises from 4th […]

  24. Paul Riddle

    RT @libcon Mayor Boris hits poor with massive transport fares jump http://bit.ly/6EWBo5

  25. Madam Miaow

    Warning: what happens when Tories get in? London bus fares up 33% in 18 months but rich get pampered http://bit.ly/8EKYl9

  26. Milena Buyum

    RT @MadamMiaow Warning: what happens when Tories get in? London bus fares up 33% in 18 months but rich get pampered http://bit.ly/8EKYl9

  27. David Jones

    @libcon @pickledpolitics : ypou're still spamming me http://bit.ly/6He3Pa

  28. Tories hit poorest in fare hike « Clapham Town Councillors

    […] full run down of the prices, borrowed from a summary on Liberal Conspiracy, is […]

  29. No fare deal for London or Venezuela « Bala Fria ?????

    […] of Johnson’s transport policies have highlighted how these massive increases – 20 percent for single bus fares alone – would not have been so high if Johnson hadn’t trashed other sources of funding for […]

  30. sunny hundal

    @Catey_Maxx here's how he's punishing less well off: http://bit.ly/4FPE0V – which labour policies punish aspiration?





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