Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Rail Fares Too Cheap, Claims Tim Worstall Watch

    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jape)
    By enacting a law which will make it even worse, which everyone in the administration knew from day one would make it worse. The tinfoil hatter deep in my soul even thinks it was supposed to make it worse.
    The problem with attempts to reform the NHS and the US healthcare system are very similar. There are very powerful vested interests in favour of the status quo. The American system is monumentally inefficient. The average cost of a private hip replacement in the UK is £8,500. The cost of a private hip replacement in the USA is between $31,839 and $44,816, with an average cost of $39,299. Quite a lot of people like it like that and Obamacare did nothing to address it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ckfeister)
    Your a right wing I'm assuming.
    Economically, yes. Socially, no.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Apply your analysis to Air Passenger Duty and Insurance Premium Tax
    Neither are subject to VAT so in the case of insurance premiums, they are taxed less heavily than other services.

    I agree with your point though that taxes are spend on public services as a whole. The question is should driving be heavily taxed compared to rail for which the opposite is true? Why isn't there a rail passengers tax to more than cover the cost of government spending on railways?

    Politicians can justify it in terms of congestion or emissions but it can't be justified in terms of elasticity. You could put on a London train ticket tax and people would have to pay it because they have no other way of getting to work. You could rinse people and raise loads of money to spend on other things.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sternumator)
    Neither are subject to VAT so in the case of insurance premiums, they are taxed less heavily than other services.

    I agree with your point though that taxes are spend on public services as a whole. The question is should driving be heavily taxed compared to rail for which the opposite is true? Why isn't there a rail passengers tax to more than cover the cost of government spending on railways?

    Politicians can justify it in terms of congestion or emissions but it can't be justified in terms of elasticity. You could put on a London train ticket tax and people would have to pay it because they have no other way of getting to work. You could rinse people and raise loads of money to spend on other things.

    The basic problem with Worstall's analysis is that there are many more externalities with road transport than with rail transport.

    People come up with various numbers for the economic cost of road deaths but they are all north of £1M. Rail costs a handful of lives a year, road about 1750. Add to that the injuries and there are billions of pounds of costs not shared by motorists through their insurance.

    You have mentioned pollution but there is also policing. Rail picks up the cost of the British Transport Police. I couldn't find a figure for the percentage of policing costs attributable to traffic policing.

    Then there is land use. Rail paid open market value for all of the land it occupies. Road has not.

    But once you get to that level, it is fair to call any comparison off. You are dealing with apples and pears.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The basic problem with Worstall's analysis is that there are many more externalities with road transport than with rail transport.

    People come up with various numbers for the economic cost of road deaths but they are all north of £1M. Rail costs a handful of lives a year, road about 1750. Add to that the injuries and there are billions of pounds of costs not shared by motorists through their insurance.

    You have mentioned pollution but there is also policing. Rail picks up the cost of the British Transport Police. I couldn't find a figure for the percentage of policing costs attributable to traffic policing.

    Then there is land use. Rail paid open market value for all of the land it occupies. Road has not.

    But once you get to that level, it is fair to call any comparison off. You are dealing with apples and pears.
    People dying young is positive for government finances. They have may lose tax revenue but they also don't have to pay for expensive health care, social care and pensions. There may be an economic loss but there are also fewer people to split the pie with.

    Interesting point about policing.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Yaboi)
    Do you have any proof that pre brexit level our wages were around USA level?

    because I highly doubt that, all European nations besides the swiss get a bad deal imo.
    According to OECD data on average annual wages:
    https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?Da...ode=AV_AN_WAGE

    In US dollars at purchasing power parity rates (ie adjusted for cost of living in country) average annual wages in 2015 were:

    $58,714 United States
    $58,389 Switzerland
    $50,908 Norway
    $44,925 Germany
    $41,384 United Kingdom
    $41,252 France
    $34,140 Italy
    $35,780 Japan
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    I'm sorry that I don't conform to your world view that most people are too stupid to be able to make their own decisions and so the best thing for us all is to give huge amount to the government so they can run our lives for us, obviously after siphoning off a bit of cash for the civil service. Public funding is the worst form of funding, it's spending somebody elses money on somebody else.
    I'm sorry that I don't conform to your world view that civil servants and big gov are evil waste machines. Personal responsibility is great. Making life more difficult for ordinary people for no reason and calling it personal responsibility isn't.

    I mean, we might as well abolish medicine. People should do it all themselves instead of being feckless right? Anyone can do CPR, etc.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jape)
    https://capx.co/yes-theres-a-problem...heyre-too-low/

    I know there are a lot of people who get the trains. Thoughts?
    The article highlights a very important point which i highlight in most train threads which is that our government (and indeed the electorate) have chosen to fund Network Rail (a state body) via ticket sales and not taxation. Nationalisation would make little difference to this given how small the operating margins are and how the state controls the purchasing of franchise stock anyway.

    If people want lower fares then there are limited options..

    1) Vote for greater taxation

    2) Vote to cut spending elsewhere and increase the transport subsidy

    3) Cull the network (remember that the Beeching cuts took place when nationalised) because only mainline services between cities are really profitable.

    (Original post by Abdukazam)
    Ideologically driven stupidity. Take his money and get him to commute like a real person and see how quickly he withdraws support for the motion.
    Although cramped (the state actually refused to allow FTP to purchase additional stock so we must wait until 2018) i commute everyday and am quite happy with the cost which at ~£160 per month is still lower than the cost of a car (fuel+finance+insurance) and still five times quicker than the bus.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I happen to agree. Rail travel is a luxury service, not a human right. The leftie liberals demanding lower fares simply do not understand basic economics. We are a right-wing, capitalist country. If the poor have to suffer then so be it, in my opinion.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    :toofunny:
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Len Goodman)
    We are a right-wing, capitalist country. If the poor have to suffer then so be it, in my opinion.
    And you do not understand the Great Commandment
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    And you do not understand the Great Commandment
    Erm, yes I do - "Thou shalt not bend thy legs in the Cha-Cha-Cha".
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Lord Samosa)
    Isn't more people taking the trains more beneficial for the environment? As well as eases up congestion on the road networks, meaning those who NEED to drive are better off and we have less investment required in our roads. So in that sense subsidising public transport costs would make sense for the government.

    You could also argue it would make it more viable for people on lower wages to travel further for work, so can increase the area they look for work. Perhaps reducing unemployment in some areas with less jobs and a bit away from cities. (E.g. The valleys in South Wales). More people working = less on benefits and more tax income for the government. (And thus more money to spend on our country).
    It's not in the governments interest to have fewer cars on the roads. Car owners are a cash cow for government and local councils. If more people used the train, used buses, had electric bikes, mopeds etc then:
    1) People wouldn't be filling their cars with petrol or diesel, so the government would loose a lot in fuel tax.
    2) Council pay and display car parks and on street parking would be empty so local councils would loose money from parking fees and fines.
    3) Fewer motoring offences would mean fewer fines.
    4) Less mileage means cars would last a lot longer, so government would not get as much VAT from car sales as fewer people would buy new cars, secondly with abolition of cheap car tax for new low emissions cars this year, the government wants people to run their £20 a year tax car into the ground so they can buy a new far and pay £160 a year to tax the bloody thing!
    5) Less people paying congestion charge.
    6) Fewer traffic jams means fewer people wasting petrol stuck in a traffic jam.

    This is why public transport is so expensive.
    This is why people who passed their car driving test after 2001 are no longer allowed to ride an environmentally friendly moped that gets 200mpg without passing a moped test.
    This is why Britain has the toughest Electric bike laws in the world and batteries are unaffordable.

    In all the government wants more people using cars.

    People have to travel and the travelling Brit is an easy target to effectively be robbed!
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Tim Worstall is senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute
    Oh, what a surprise...
    • Political Ambassador
    Online

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    And you do not understand the Great Commandment
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, and all thy mind"

    Not quite sure what that's got to do with anything.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Oh, what a surprise...
    The mad man actually understands economics and makes a living doing policy formulation for a world-renowned think-tank. What a nutter.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy soul, and all thy mind"

    Not quite sure what that's got to do with anything.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself"

    Not a lot of loving thy neighbour as thyself in Len's post; and he should perhaps be sent to read Margaret Thatcher's Sermon on the Mound.

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/Spee...p?docid=107246
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jape)
    The mad man actually understands economics and makes a living doing policy formulation for a world-renowned think-tank. What a nutter.
    Right-wing neoliberal disagrees with public services supported by taxes. In other news, the Green Party disagrees with coal power plants.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Abdukazam)
    Ideologically driven stupidity. Take his money and get him to commute like a real person and see how quickly he withdraws support for the motion.
    Exactly. I pay 26.55 each time about 3 times a week to go Uni from Bedford to farringdon. Unless the ******* wants to pay for my fares the next 3 years, he can go **** himself
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Right-wing neoliberal disagrees with public services supported by taxes. In other news, the Green Party disagrees with coal power plants.
    Railways are no more a public service than McDonald's. Less so, in fact, I imagine more people eat at McDonald's than ride National Rail on a regular basis.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 10, 2017
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.