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'Millennial' railcard made available to under-30s

Philip Hammond expected to extend discount fare scheme as part of the government budget

There’s a lot we don’t know about chancellor’s Autumn Budget tomorrow, but a few tasty morsels have been thrown out to whet our appetites.

The government is expected to extend a rail fare scheme to help young people save some money on the cost of commuting.

The “millennial railcard” will see 26 to 30-year-olds become eligible in the same way as 18-25-year-olds currently are.

For the price of £30, the card gives young travellers a third off some rail and tube fares, and is set to become available in the spring.

It’s laughably weak at best, and downright insulting at worst

A welcome move, perhaps. It could help up to 4.5 million people.

Many people in their early thirties, however, will be left wondering why they should be left to cope unassisted with some of the highest rail fares in Europe.

And others questioned whether millennials could seriously be expected to feel grateful when the housing market, stagnant wages and squeezed social mobility are all stacked against them.

Harriet Williamson, writing in The Independent, described the measure as “laughably weak at best, and downright insulting at worst.”

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary called it an “empty gesture,” while Andy McDonald, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said the Tories were “tinkering around the edges of a broken system.”

Whether there are more substantial goodies for young people – or more substantial reasons to complain – will be revealed by Philip Hammond in Parliament tomorrow.

Photo: Jeremy Segrott, licensed under Creative Commons.

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