Fares ‘revolt’ expected by Tory and Lib Dem MPs
The Government could face a revolt by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs over rail fares when they return to parliament next month, as critics suggest commuters in marginal seats will revoke their support for the Coalition.
In January, unregulated fares are set to rise by an average of 6.2%, with some fares increasing by 11%. MPs have stated they will lobby the Chancellor to cap increases at 1% above inflation, instead of 3%.
Ahead of the announcement on fares, transport secretary Justine Greening voiced her intention to campaign for a lower increase.
Sir John Stanley, Kent MP for Tonbridge and Malling, accused ministers of “exploiting commuters” and using rail fares as “a disguised form of taxation”.
Stephen Joseph, executive director of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “With so many Conservative MPs in marginal ‘commuter’ seats, it is pretty clear that if ministers do not back down, they will be hit hard in the ballot box.”
But RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “This is Tory and Lib Dem Home Counties and marginal MPs fighting to save their political skins over fare increases while still supporting their government’s policy on privatisation that is at the root of this rail rip off and while giving their backing to the McNulty Review’s attack on jobs and services.
“This bunch of hypocrites deserve a one-way ticket to political oblivion and not a single one of them will have a chance to wriggle off the hook as we take the campaign to their doorsteps throughout the autumn.”
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