Young people deserve free bus passes | Polly Toynbee

Young people deserve free bus passes | Polly Toynbee
Labour’s new policy could be the first step towards a fairer allocation of resources and a tiptoe towards universal basic services

Free bus passes for the under-25s – that’s Labour’s latest retail offer to the young, unveiled today by Jeremy Corbyn. It’s a good idea, but still a lot less generous than many older people’s free travel passes. Outside London over-65s get bus concessions; in London the over-60s get not just free buses but free tubes as well, even for high earners still in work. So no one should begrudge this modest offer to the young.

It will save 13 million young people an average of £1,000 a year for fares that low-earning families often can’t afford. Labour has pledged to restore the education maintenance allowance, worth up to £30 a week to 16- to 19-year-olds still in education. Its abolition by the coalition had a devastating effect on low-income families trying to keep teenagers in school and college with no free school meals or travel.

Related: Labour announces plan for under 25s to have free bus travel

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Source: Guardian Transport

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