A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Boris' stealth tax

Given that we are said to be entering a period of deflation, i.e. falling prices, what is the justification for Boris Johnson racking up the cost of my daily 243 bus commute by 11% each way from today?

This inflation-busting increase - a single Oyster fare goes up from 90p to £1 - will hit the least well-off most because they use buses the most, and will particularly hit people in my borough, Hackney, as we are not on the tube network and depend on buses.

Basically Boris is nicking over £20 a year off us daily bus commuters. He has increased all fares by an average of 6% but bus Oyster fares by nearly double that, 11%. Maybe he thinks Oyster card users won't notice because you pre-pay the card, in which case it is a pretty cynical move.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Albert Shanker said...

Damn right Luke. Hitting bus users disporportionately hits poorer people and older people. Interestingly I wonder what all those people in outer London, where bus is a very essential means of travel, who voted for Boris will say when they realise that he's just stung them some more...

11:47 am, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Ken shouldn't have left London's finances in the toilet.

A financial black hole in London's budget needs to be filled, so Boris going against his better inclinations has to raise money for it - that sounds like sound governance to me.

Meanwhile he freezes the Mayoral precept which his predecessor was so keen on hiking at every given moment - no mention of that though, because that wouldn't play well in Nu-Labour cloud cuckoo land would it?

12:38 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Shambolic said...

Well said, I agree with you 100%!

What about this Hackney embarrassment though - where you are quoted?

12:38 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pound a week extra! God, people might even have to stop playing the lottery!

12:57 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Blogger Mark Still News said...

To the Tory of the previous post?

£2 a week extra for each couple so over 1 year that totals £104 extra on bus fares.

I never bother with the bus now. I cycle to work as they are unreliable,my bus used to be at05:25 in the Morning but Metro line would cancel it frequently and it would always turn up 20 minutes late apart from the exception when it would turn up 8 minutes before the booked time, hence running empty! but some people can't cycle 7 miles each way or may not be so confident in traffic.

£1 is a lot to pay for a lousy unreliable service.

I don't blame the bus drivers and workers as its the privatisation that has knocked the stuffing out of our buses!

1:20 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

£1.00 still seems cheap to me, it costs my wife about £4.60 return to use the bus for a 22 mile return trip. This is why we use the car....much cheaper. Free parking space with her job and the car costs about £1.50 return.

You Londoner's should try living in rural areas where buses hardly ever run and when they do they charge an arm and a leg for very little. You seem a little spoilt.

6:22 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Secret Santa said...

A good post.

I'm hoping on Newsnight tonight they crunch the numbers on Cameron’s proposed tax cut.

I'll bet most of the people sat on the bus this morning won't see a penny of that, some might see £1.50 a month which I'm sure Boris will enjoy spending on fireworks.

Rich

Spoilt? I'd prefer to use my car thanks, but it's neither practicle nor ethical to do so in London.

The problem with rural areas is very different. I'm originally from the Lake District and there we have irregular busses, doing slow and indirect routes, driving for miles and miles with very few people on them.

Thanks for reminding us that high bus fares make people use there cars more!

Until the Government attempts to offer a public transport service, cheap enough to compete with driving, people will still use cars.

This is easier to achieve in London than the country and with measures like the Congestion Charge we are able to give city drivers financial incentives without penalizing drivers in the country. (Like increasing fuel and driving taxes would).

SS

8:48 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Rich said...

I'm just pointing out how poor public transport can be in most parts of the country. London is the exception even for cities and when I'm down there I love buzzing around on the tube, obviously not in rush hour as that is just minging.

In terms of value for money, public transport is appalling. Most people own cars so the cost of keeping one can't be factored in when you calculate the cost of commuting. To drive a new generation city car means you probably going to get around 60-80mpg...with virtually zero C02. Cheaper, Greener than the bus by a long way.

11:07 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Secret Santa said...

Rich

To which new generation city car/s do you refer?

SS

11:54 pm, January 05, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Ken never put fares up then?

5:26 pm, January 06, 2009

 
Anonymous observer's friend said...

Anonymous said...
Did Ken never put fares up then?


No! Ken (the candidate rejected by NuLabour) reduced bus fares (and improved the benefits for disabled and elderly passengers and kids and those on state benefits).

7:27 pm, January 06, 2009

 
Blogger Olly said...

Anon said: Maybe Ken shouldn't have left London's finances in the toilet.

A financial black hole in London's budget needs to be filled, so Boris going against his better inclinations has to raise money for it - that sounds like sound governance to me.

Meanwhile he freezes the Mayoral precept which his predecessor was so keen on hiking at every given moment - no mention of that though, because that wouldn't play well in Nu-Labour cloud cuckoo land would it?


If London's finances were left in a "mess" then how can Bojo afford to freeze the precept?

Freezing the precept, abandoning the western extension of the congestion zone and removing the top charge for Chelsea tractors has been paid for by sticking up tube and bus fares, simple, end of discussion. Car drivers are Bojo's priority and Luke is right to say that public transport users who voted for him are going to be annoyed.

You mention Nu-Labour cloud cuckoo land but your argument is pure Tory spin of which Campbell would be proud.

ps Last year Ken put his share of the precept up by 2% but never let facts get in the way eh.

3:02 pm, January 07, 2009

 

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