Tuesday, 13 August 2013

*Sigh* Rail increase again...

Well it is no surprise that the Rail fare is projected to rise again next year by 4%.

It isn't a bad amount really, it could be a lot worse but it could also be better and save the already strapped British public some money.

So what does it mean for me?

Well, I'm on £21k p.a and I've been given a 1% pay rise for next year (woot!) totalling £210s P.a.
So I will be earning a mind boggling extra £175 per month bringing my wages to £1925 per month before tax, pensions and National insurance. Luckily the Liberal Democrats got one of their key manifesto pledges through parliament and my income tax will be effectively halved after April as I won't be paying anything on the first £10,000 I earn - Thanks Nick!!!

So... That will be an extra hundred free - maybe...

So say my take home is about £1450. Lets take off Mortgage of £450, Council Tax £110, Electricity £100s, Gas £15, Food costs, £80, my half of Nursery bill, Mobile is about £40 £200 brings me to £555s.
My current Railway bill  £352.60 (add 4% to this...) comes to £366.68 which effectively leaves me with £210s a month to live on or £50s a week next year.

That is excluding buying lunch for work, going on a day out with the family. A trip to London Aquarium costs £50 entry as Sam and I are £22 each and £13s for Sophie as a child (unless using vouchers etc). That is a week's flash money gone.

A meal for four at La Tusca is easily £40s, a trip to Westgate beach cost us that...
There are a lot of provisos in that set of equations. Nursery bills are bound to go up as are utilities and even food prices despite shopping in Aldi.

As Blackadder once said: I feel like a pelican. Everywhere I turn there is a large bill in front of me.

I wouldn't mind but my service has not really improved, it hasn't got any worse though. My train is still as it has always been. The staff the same faces at Gillingham station doing the same job. The speakers on the fast trains still broken and filling my ears with a tinny Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

for an hour each way. Still not enough seating at rush hour that leaves me sat in door ways or wedged into a corner. Finding a the toilets are locked, filthy or missing toilet paper. The same little darlings who clearly haven't paid for a ticket getting away scot free and me being woken rudely by a shove by a ticket inspector at 5am outside Dartford and having TICKET Please! barked at me.

There is a poster at Waterloo East that says in recent years Southeastern have invested millions into the network. I find myself scratching my head and muttering Where???

Yeah Gillingham Station has been polished and looks nicer except the toilets are usually locked on Platform 1 and 2. All the others are fairly the same, Strood doesn't have a lift still and I have to haul the buggy up and down the subway, Chatham is still reliant on platform staff letting disabled and buggy pushing travellers out the side gates. Trains are still the same units that have traversed the line in recent years... I can't see it.

So if the service hasn't improved why am I paying more out of an ever decreasing Sams family pot?

Lets not get political - bugger the They started it with Privatisation! They brought in RPI+1 - I'm not interested in it. It distracts from the real issue and is a vile point scoring exercise.

Commuters and the hard pressed people of this country want answers before we are priced off the network all together.

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