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.
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).
A Millennial rail card that gives absolutely NO DISCOUNT on extortionate, ripoff rail travel season tickets?! Pull the other one Phil! pic.twitter.com/ZUGQRD8kNA— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) November 22, 2017
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.
"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.
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.