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In the News

Rail fare hike reveals burden shifting to passengers

Graham Watson

2nd January 2017

The ever-controversial decision to hike rail fares has been in the news again, with unregulated fares rising by an average of 2.3%.

This has split opinion: the government arguing that the increase is necessary to fund improvements on the train network; commuters, of course, have argued that they are paying more for sub-standard service and that they are being exploited in a way that other users of privatised utilities aren't.

However, the real secret here is contained in a relatively brief summary of the move by Transport Correspondent, Rcihard Westcott: "successive governments have been changing the proportion of the rail bill paid for by passengers. It used to be around 50%. Today it's around 70%."

Which, in the grand scheme of things isn't unfair; how many other private sector goods and services are subsidised to that extent?

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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