Al Baron on Free Public Transport. Spot the Fallacy, Please

Anyone interested in this rather obvious idea, please follow the link at the bottom of this message.

So let us assume the following:

Revenue for the quarter at £1.594 millions = £6.376 billion for one year

If this burden were to be placed on 30 million taxpayers, that would mean, in addition the existing government subsidy, around £212.50 per person per year, less that £4.10 per week.

BUT, and here is the but, there would be massive savings all round because all the ticket staff and most of the auditors, etc, security staff, could be paid off.

And as more and more people used the railways, the cost per traveller mile would come right down.

Ask a commuter who is paying two grand and more a year for a season ticket if he minds paying a flat four quid a week extra in tax.

The question is not can we afford to give everyone in the country free train travel, but how can we afford not to?

2 responses to “Al Baron on Free Public Transport. Spot the Fallacy, Please

  1. Er, even if the math is correct-

    I don’t use the railways, hardly at all. £212 extra tax per year would be a great deal to me. Those people commuting for two grand a year are doing so to save accomodation etc. costs nearer to work. So what you’re really asking is a standard public choice rip-off; one group get subsidised by a theft from the general masses which is too small to incite them to revolution. The process that got us where we are today.

    People who pay two grand for a season ticket are doing so because working far from home nets them more than two grand more than working nearer home. That’s their choice which they are entitled to make. Damned if I’m going to pay so they can benefit though.

    One likely thing that would happen is that subsidising commuters like this would lead to more commuting. That would lead to the tax bill steadily rising, transferring ever more payments onto those who don’t commute. THere wouldn’t be any cost savings from “efficiencies”. There never are.

    Very bad idea. Classic anglo-socialism, in fact.

  2. You may stick a gold star in your exercise book.