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Autumn statement

23 November 2016

Responding to the Chancellor's Autumn Financial Statement claim that cracking down on insurance whiplash claims will help hard pressed working class families with their transport costs, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:

"Beware Tories bearing gifts for the working classes. Cracking down on insurance whiplash claims is a bizarre way of claiming he is subsidising commuter transport costs.

"Even if the claims that a car owner can save up to £40 a year on car insurance are true - then that's just 80p per week max that can be "returned" to a car-owner. That's the cost of a two-pint bottle of milk - so hardly amounts to a transport subsidy for a hard-pressed family!

"And in any case most commuters struggling to meet transport costs are public transport users not car drivers and so they are being completely ignored in today's statement. Hard-pressed ordinary working class commuters have long needed a Chancellor with a plan to tackle rising transport poverty - that's where just under a quarter of net income is spent on public transport getting yourself to work.

"If Mr Hammond was serious about easing the load of ordinary working class people he could begin by tackling the ever escalating cost of commuting and head-off January's scheduled year fare rises.

"And in London he could restore the £700 central London operating grant to Transport for London so that they could stop making the cuts which are turning London into a commuting hell and begin to transform London into a world-leading commuting city.

"But instead this budget still leaves the UK's passengers facing the highest prices in Europe for the most overcrowded services and transport costs rising faster then wages. However they try and spin it today, this Tory budget does nothing to make commuting less costly for workers and their families."

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