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Labour and Tories clash over rail fare increases

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Jon Wheale - Labour party prospective parliamentary candidate for Burton

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DAVID Cameron and his Government have ‘put rail companies’ profits ahead of the needs of hard-working commuters’ by backing massive rail fare rises, a would-be MP has claimed.

Jon Wheale, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Burton, attacked the coalition after saying it had sanctioned price increases by as much as 9.2 per cent.

“The Government has shown how out of touch it is by putting the wrong people first on rail fares,” he said.

“Ministers have caved in to pressure from the private train companies by allowing them to make massive increases to rail fares at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.

“And if the Government gets away with introducing ‘Super Peak’ rail tickets, then many working people in Burton will be priced out of simply being able to get to their jobs.

“People in Burton want to see their Government supporting them instead of making commuting to work a luxury few can afford.

“David Cameron should follow Labour’s lead and rule out these ‘Super Peak’ rail tickets, limit rail fare rises and stop putting rail companies’ profits ahead of the needs of hard-working commuters”.

Mr Wheale said fares would rise by no more than one per cent above inflation under a Labour government.

But Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said: “It appears Mr Wheale is more of a magician than Paul Daniels because he seems to be able to magic money out of thin air.

“Just this week the Government announced the biggest investment in the railways since Victorian times.

“If we want the best railways in Europe then somebody has to pay for them.

“If train users don’t pay their share then hard-working taxpayers in Burton would see their taxes rise as a result.

“If Mr Wheale does not want fares to go up he should tell us what he would cut in order to pay for them.”

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