Tories: We’ll freeze train fares

Published: Friday 10th April 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Rail fares will be frozen in real terms for five years if the Tories win the General Election, David Cameron will announce today in the latest effort to blunt Labour attacks over the rising cost of living.

The policy announcement comes after a clutch of opinion polls suggested the Opposition was taking a slight advantage from the first 10 days of campaigning and that Ed Miliband’s personal rating was on the up despite highly personal attacks on him.

But the Labour leader will confront the biggest challenge to his push for Number 10 directly when he travels to Edinburgh, as a survey showed his party further behind the SNP than ever with almost half of Scottish voters backing the nationalist cause.

He will also pledge to protect the jobs of 10,000 bobbies on the beat and claim Conservative cuts have allowed rapists and violent criminals to go free.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg – who saw his party draw level with Ukip in a national poll for the first time for more than 18 months – promised loans to help grown-up children stuck living with their parents to rent their own homes.

While the latest polls suggest the contest is still very close, Labour strategists will be pleased to see the party take leads of between three and six points in three and cut the Conservative lead in another.

ComRes research for ITV and the Daily Mail showed the Tories on 34% and Labour on 33% b ut that compared with a four-point deficit for the Opposition at the start of the campaign.

The Liberal Democrats – who have consistently surrendered their third-party status in polls for a long period – were up three to join Ukip on 12%. Greens were down a point at 4%.

Despite Mr Miliband insisting that he was still hopeful of an overall majority however, he heads to Scotland with a YouGov poll for the Times suggesting his party could end up with as few as four seats north of the border.

Support for the nationalists was at 49% and Labour down four at 25, with the Conservatives up two points at 18% and Lib Dems up one at 4%.

Mr Miliband will tell voters that SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s declared intent to move to full fiscal autonomy for Scotland would slash funds to help working families.

“You can’t build social justice with a £7.6 billion funding gap,” he will declare.

“This strikes to the very heart of what I believe in. I will never sell Scotland short by signing up to the SNP’s plans.”

Unveiling the rail fare policy, Mr Cameron said extending the existing RPI inflation cap on regulated ticket prices for another five years would save the average commuter £400.

“It shouldn’t just be taken for granted that people across the country who get up early and come home late, spend a large amount of the money they earn travelling to and from work.

But Mick Cash, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said annual fare increases would “institutionalise the harsh reality that the British passenger pays the highest fares in Europe to travel on rammed out and unreliable trains” and called for an end to “the rip off of rail privatisation”.

Labour said police and crime commissioners (PCCs) would be axed to help fund the £800 million plan to guarantee neighbourhood policing across England and Wales and promised a victims’ law setting out rights for people affected by crime.

Police were “struggling to keep up” with the rise in child sexual exploitation, terrorism and online crime while public safety is being “put at risk” by a chaotic prison and probation system, the party said as it unveiled its crime and justice manifesto.

Mr Clegg, who is spending the day in his Sheffield constituency, said his party would allow working 18-30 year olds to claim a low-interest government loan of up to £2,000 to move out and rent their own home.

He said it would help the “clipped wing generation” who are unable to leave home and the parents “who want their kids out of their hair”.

Published: Friday 10th April 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search