Fair's fair Boris, you've made a good decision here:
"Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced that over the next year London's half-price bus and tram travel scheme will be extended to include thousands of unemployed Londoners in receipt of Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) or the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)."
Well I have to say, I didn't see that coming
"The move, which is part of the Mayor's Economic recovery Action Plan, is designed to help people back to work by making it easier to travel to interviews, and access libraries, job centres, and other amenities. It means that from 1 April eligible Londoners in receipt of the allowances will be able to access the same half priced travel concession that those on Income Support currently benefit from."
Now it wasn't that long ago that things weren't looking so good. To the anger of many last year, Boris Johnson scrapped half-price fares for people on income support.
But in just a few months we have seen not only a u-turn of that decision but also this welcome extension of half-price fares to people looking for work.
Lib Dem Assembly Leader Mike Tuffrey, who campaigned for the extension, said today:
"No one should be forced to turn down an interview because they can’t afford a bus fare. Yet Boris Johnson has put up fares this month by 11% - three times the rate of inflation. At present an unemployed person on JSA, with a weekly income of just £47, will end up paying £2 for a return trip to an interview. If they pay their fares in cash the fares will be £4.
“When you are on such a low income cheaper travel can make a world of difference to getting back to work.”
Obviously this announcement would be more welcome if everybody's bus fares were not going up by 11 per cent at the same time.
But with today's decision at least, Boris has done exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. Can we have more of the same please?