Europe

Grant Shapps calls for £2 bus fare cap as cost of living crisis hits taxpayer pockets

Therese Coffey is grilled by Justin Webb on cost of living crisis

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Mr Shapps is proposing a £260million subsidy for taxpayers that would cut the price of a bus ticket in order to aid those who rely on public transport to get to work.

This comes as a Public First survey for The Sunday Telegraph found that a majority of those asked – 43 percent – believed the Tory Government is not taking the cost of living crisis seriously enough.

Mr Shapps wrote in The Telegraph: “The most vulnerable in our society need concrete help in the coming year, measures that make an immediate and tangible difference to daily spending.

“And a simple way to do this is reduce the burden on those of us who rely on buses to get to work, the shops and the GP.

“Buses are for all of us, the most ubiquitous form of public transport.

“Our country’s 30,000 buses provide a lifeline for country communities and an equally vital – and greener – solution for city workers wanting to ditch the car.

“It’s time to provide some help for regular bus users and bring them some relief in these tough times.

“The country is facing a huge challenge from fuel poverty; we must not compound that with travel poverty for the worst off.

“So, I propose that we set a £2 fare cap for every bus journey in England outside London this autumn, lasting 12 months.”

The Transport Secretary has supposedly been working on this scheme since earlier this year to close the gap between bus services in London and those in the rest of the country.

In the capital buses are more frequent and work out cheaper on a pay-as-you-go flat rate that does not go above £1.65 if other journeys are made within the hour.

It is understood that Boris Johnson was considering the plan before his resignation but was facing some resistance from the Treasury.

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Implementing the plan will now fall to the next Prime Minister, with either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak set to enter Downing Street in early September.

In October the energy price cap is expected to rise from the current £1971 to an estimated £3600, with another increase possible in January.

Elsewhere in Europe similar measures have been passed, with fares in Ireland being reduced by 20 percent.

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