Jeremy Corbyn parks the bus fares in latest bid for youth votes
Labour will offer free bus travel to youngsters in areas where services are at least partly run by the public sector.
After all the talk of a ‘youthquake’ at the 2017 general election, Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal to young voters has been called into question this year.
The British Election Study has said the youthquake was a “myth” and that there was no surge in youth turnout after all. It is also frequently claimed that Corbyn’s support for Brexit is turning off young voters.
So what can Labour do to really reel in the millennials?
The party will offer free bus travel to all those under 25 in areas where services are at least partly run by the public sector, Labour announced overnight. The perk would apply to those travelling within local authorities where buses are either run by the council or through a franchising scheme.
Labour says the policy would cost the taxpayer around £1.4bn per year and that it would stem a decline in bus use by those within the age bracket since the Conservatives came to power. The Tories have done some sums and reckon that the cost of the policy would be more like £13bn.
Addressing students in Derby, Corbyn laid it on thick: “Young people deserve a break. Nearly eight years of Tory austerity have hit their incomes, their chance to buy a house and their career opportunities. Labour wants to help young people make the most out of life by investing in them, which is why today we are pledging the next Labour government will provide the funds to cover free bus travel for under-25s, to support them to travel to work, to study and to visit friends.
He added: "On average, children, young people and households with children each have less disposable income than working age households without children. Young people also tend to be in lower paid, more insecure work, and they spend a higher proportion of their income on travel. Giving them free bus travel will make a huge difference to their lives.”
There was much excitement when Corbyn turned up at Littleover Community School to announce the policy. Less so when the Labour leader school and shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald then posed with children on a bus...