16 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. Everybody is used to trying to get eveybody else to pay for everything for them.

    Welcome to social democracy.

  2. BiI has it. And in this case, it’s not so much downtrodden left-wingers whinging as those who pay for everything for everyone seeing one of the few things they get back out of the system taken away. Not too many lefties spend 5k a year on the commute.

    It’s why, in my old age, I have now changed my position and now favour opera subsidies – it’s one of the few things my tax money is spent on that I actually directly benefit from.

  3. If I had even the slightest belief that removal of said subsidies would lead to lower taxes, then I’d be in favour of it.

    However, that’s not going to happen, the Government are just going to piss the money up the wall somewhere else.

    Rail subsidy is one of the few and shrinking mechanisms whereby some small fraction of my vast tax bill benefits me.

  4. Thanks for taking on a hobby-horse of mine dates right back to the mid 60s. Didn’t understand commuter rail subsidies then, don’t understand them now.
    Flashback to Liverpool St station, 1968. Senior partner of stockbrokers arrives from Norfolk. Ticket subsidy – oodles. Postboy arrives from Mile End. Ticket subsidy – thruppence.
    True then, true now. The greatest beneficiaries of subsidy are those who can afford to pay high travel costs in the first place.
    Travel costs should be incident where they deserve to be. With the employer. If the employer wishes the benefits of a city center location but a staff catchment area spans the whole of SE England, let them find the money in the wage bill.

  5. The principal beneficiaries of the fare subsidies are still the rail unions as they have been for the last 50 years. Nevertheless I see no good reason why the guy who walks to work in Newcastle should subsidise stockbrokers commuting into London from Surrey.

  6. Not all lines are equal. Rail subsidies disproportionately go to long-distance and non-London routes, especially Scotland. The London commuter routes are just about self-sufficient; South West Trains was actually a net contributor to the treasury (not sure if that includes Network Rail’s costs).

  7. I’m with B(n)iS as well.

    I don’t understand why the LHTD hasn’t denounced the subsidies as tax avoidance for the rich.

  8. @”Corvus Umbranox
    August 5, 2014 at 8:49 am
    If I had even the slightest belief that removal of said subsidies would lead to lower taxes, then I’d be in favour of it.

    However, that’s not going to happen, the Government are just going to piss the money up the wall somewhere else.”
    Very true.

  9. Don’t forget that trains tick the “green” box too. If you’re opposed to rail subsidies, you actually want to kill cute furry pandas by running them over in your Land Rover.

    It’s the same logic that says any opposition to immigration is equivalent to racism.

  10. Andrew M

    TOCs pay track access charges for using Network Rail infrastructure. They also pay penalties for any delays caused by their services, although NR is the default payer of these in the case of unattributed delays.

  11. @ Andrew M
    I don’t *have* a Landrover (or any other 4×4) so I *cannot* want to wreck it by driving into/onto a bear twice my weight.
    I travel by train more than by car, but I do not think rail fares should be subsidised. B(n)iS hits the nail on the head.

  12. Since you are paying rail fares out of already TAXED income, that alters the picture.

    The fare is a direct expense of having the job, therefore should be tax-deductable.

  13. @ Alan Douglas
    Arguably so, but it depends on the small print. If you choose to live in an old Rectory with a rose garden rather than a terraced house within walking distance of your factory/office why should you get a tax-break on the cost of your voluntary commuting?
    See comment by B(n)iS.
    But Murphy and I work from home so all our train fares to business meetings (or in his case to waffling at the BBC) are tax-deductible.So he can minimise his tax payments while basking in a rosy glow of tax-compliant virtue.

  14. I don’t know whether train subsidies are a good idea or not, but Braess’s Paradox and the “price of anarchy” suggest that commuter transport may well be an area where government intervention can make us better off.

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