TfL are facing a financial crisis like never before and it is young people who will bear the brunt of it.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we collectively followed the government’s instruction to “stay home and save lives”, leading to a debilitating fall in revenue for the travel service.
Now, as an ill thought-out condition of the £1.6 billion bailout package from the UK government, free and discounted travel is being stripped away from thousands of young Londoners. The government must reconsider this move.
This fundamentally irresponsible decision will make the lives of young people across London far more difficult. Soon, before starting their journey to school or seeing friends, many will have to ask themselves: “Can I afford this?”.
London is often portrayed as a city of wealth, but the sheer levels of inequality that exist here are swept under the rug.
The capital has a staggering 39% of children living in poverty and faces a looming recession, comparable to that of the Great Depression. Despite this, the government is making our poorest families pay a minimum of £60 per child per month just for them to attend school.
The conditions of the government’s bailout proposals will create a financial barrier between thousands of young people and their education. This will have profound consequences for social mobility and equality in the capital, which will only serve to deepen the divide between the richest and poorest families.
Beyond that, thousands of the most poverty-stricken young people will now be forced to reconsider the financial viability of their education.
Throughout the last few weeks, as more people have become aware of this proposed change,...