338 Views

Is the new 26-30 railcard simply an attempt to distract?

I have always been a strong advocate for the ‘Young Person Railcard’, a must-have for any student living away from home and having to travel the length and breadth of the country to visit their friends and family.

Too often have I been confronted by what seems to be an inconceivably large figure for train tickets. My stomach churning as I work out what I could possibly sell to raise the necessary funds and make it home for Christmas, only to collapse in relief as I realise I’ve simply forgotten to add my railcard to the transaction.

Well you can imagine my glee when last Wednesday morning I arose to the news that I would be spared full fees for a few more years as the government was introducing a similar scheme for those aged 26-30.

Even so, my attention soon returned to the Budget in its entirety and I began to see through this weak ploy to appease us young voters.

While I am sure I shall be downloading one of the new railcards as soon as I become eligible (yes, they’ve gone digital), a number of political questions arise as to why the Conservatives have decided to implement this scheme.

The most obvious and glaring reason is the Conservative’s abysmal performance in the last general election, especially amongst young voters. June’s election saw the Conservatives only pick up 22% of the 20-24 vote, and an equally terrible 23% of 25-30 year olds. A dramatic failure the Tories are desperate to reverse.

However, I would like to think Philip Hammond and other members of the cabinet would not be so insulting as to think that the votes of young people could be bought with travel discounts, or that this would in any way distract people from the many worrying aspects raised in Wednesday’s Budget.

On the economic front, it was almost all bad news. Growth was lower than expected, and forecasts for economic growth over the next 3 years were all cut. Distressing signs for a generation facing exceptional levels of debt, joblessness, and rising house prices, all of which have depressed the incomes and prospects of young people.

For those 26-30 year olds lucky enough to find themselves actually with a job to commute to, and who were anticipating using their new railcard: think again. If the new railcard follows the same policies of the 16-25: discounts are not applied to peak fares unless over the £12 minimum ticket price and the discount cannot be used on season tickets. With a planned ticket price hike of 3.6% coming January of next year, the new railcard is arguable nothing but a futile gesture.

In a surprising move, it was also announced that the government would abolish Stamp Duty on the purchase of first homes up to £300,000. This is certainly a much-welcomed respite for many people hoping to get onto the property ladder as early as possible. Such a move may have been largely aimed at the 30-39 year olds, an age group that also saw a huge slump in support for the Tories in the last election with a meagre 29%. Yet, with a lack of affordable housing and house prices constantly rising, it’s hard to imagine that this will have much effect.

However, it may be the government’s plans for Brexit that really see them scupper any chances of recovering the young vote in this country. Setting aside £3bn to cover the costs of an exit from Europe, an endeavour largely sold on the promise of saving this country money, may be a very hard sell. Especially to an age group of which the majority thoroughly opposed the outcome of the referendum (those who voted anyway).  

In a time of unprecedented generational inequality, I must be the harbinger of bad news for Philip Hammond. It is going to take a lot more than a nice new shiny discount card – metaphorically speaking – to pull voters away from the sweet and moreish, if not perhaps utopian, ideas that the Labour party have planted in the minds of the young.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
499 views1
Campus News
499 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
27 views
Arts
27 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
77 views
Arts
77 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
84 views
Arts
84 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
108 views
Arts
108 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
128 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
140 views
Arts
140 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
134 views
Arts
134 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
211 views
Campus News
211 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
99 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
197 views
Arts
197 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
131 views
Arts
131 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
206 views
Artist Focus
206 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
140 views
Interview
140 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
210 views
Arts
210 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
231 views
Arts
231 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
271 views
Arts
271 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
189 views
Artist Focus
189 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
191 views
Books
191 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
246 views
Science
246 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
258 views
News
258 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…