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    Passengers queue up for an express train in Victoria rail station London, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016.

    UK Gov't's 'Millennial' Railcard Won't Stop 'Hell Hole Extortion Racket'

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    A key pledge in the latest UK government financial plan to offer a new railcard to 26 to 30 year olds does not provide major savings, a leading political analyst has told Sputnik.

    A scheme announced by UK chancellor Philip Hammond during his budget statement on Wednesday, November 22 that allows Brits up to the age of 30 cheaper rail travel has been torn apart by Peter Stefanovic, a lawyer-turned-political commentator.

    Help Millions

    The British Treasury said the move would help keep the cost of living down for around 4.5 million more young people when it is introduced across the country in 2018 — although those participating would have to pay an annual fee of £30 (US$39).

    Having examined the details closely surrounding the plan, however, Peter Stefanovic says it does not actually offer any discount whatsoever.

    "One of the biggest problems faced by 26-30 year olds is the extortionate rip-off cost of rail travel they pay every day to get to work," Mr. Stefanovic told Sputnik.

    No Benefit

    "Years of failed privatizations lumbered them with the most expensive railways in Europe… your cunning plan to help people caught up in this crappy, depressing hell hole extortion racket is to offer them a rail discount card that doesn't actually give them any discount whatsover… on an extortionate rip-off season ticket," Mr. Stefanovic said.

    The majority of Britain's 20-somethings in employment, he added, would not benefit in any way as the card cannot be used before 10am — the main commuter rush period.

    It cannot be used also on season tickets, Mr. Stefanovic explained, which means it will bring little or no relief to those about to face a 3.6 percent hike in rail fares in January, 2018.

    At present, railcard discounts are limited to those who are aged 16-25, those who have a disability, over 60s. The government wants to extend this further to incorporate a "millennials" card from next spring, with trials to take place on Greater Anglia routes shortly. 

    In effect, the only benefit of the card would be for offpeak trips, weekend jaunts to see the family, or long distance travel which already attract discounts when booked well in advance.

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    UK economy, budget, railway, Philip Hammond, Britain, United Kingdom
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