Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald has done his sums – and the Tories have been left flailing.

According to The Guardian, “Under 25s would have free bus travel under a Labour government, the party said, proposing a scheme that would be paid for by ring-fenced cash arising from road tax.

“The party said local authorities who moved to introduce public ownership of bus services or franchising would be given the funds to provide free travel. The scheme would incentivise councils to create municipally owned bus companies.

“The party said its research could help up to 13 million young people save £1,000 a year, based on the average price of a bus ticket in England. The policy would cost £1.4bn a year by the end of a five-year parliament, with franchising or municipalisation of services likely to be staggered.

“Labour said the funds would use about a fifth of the income from vehicle excise duty revenues, forecast to be £6.7bn in 2021, which is currently allocated to road building.”

Jeremy Corbyn was set to launch the policy at a sixth form in Derby today (April 12).

All the Tories could do was claim it was an empty promise, pointing to Labour’s general election plan to end tuition fees.

But these are empty words – Labour would have abolished tuition fees if elected into government last year, and the plan to fund free bus travel for under-25s from road tax is perfectly feasible if the party introduces a £250 billion National Transformation Fund for large works like road-building.

That would not be putting the country into debt. It would be investing in the future – a distinction the Tories find hard to understand.

But then the Tories’ purpose is to siphon cash away from the nation as a whole and into the hands of a tiny number of already-filthy-rich parasites. Right?


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