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Bus cuts mean "plans for welfare reform are likely to fail"

18 October 2010
Cuts to local buses risk driving people out of work and locking others into welfare dependency, Citizens Advice and the Campaign for Better Transport warned today. [1]

The coalition Government has made reforming the welfare system a core priority for its first term in office. [2] But the two charities found that many people find poor transport links prevented them finding and holding on to work, and that most people on unemployment benefit relied on buses to get to work.

Later this week, the Government will announce the results of its Spending Review. There has been widespread speculation that bus support will be hit hard by cuts to the Department for Transport’s budget.

Teresa Perchard, Director of Public Policy for Citizens Advice, said:

"Too many people are desperate for work, but cannot find – or keep – a job because of problems with transport. This report shows very clearly that without a joined-up transport policy, Government plans for welfare reform are likely to fail."

Stephen Joseph, CEO of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"Buses get little press and political attention, and are often a low priority for politicians. Yet they are a crucial part of our transport network. As the Government finalises its spending plans, it must remember the wider benefits of reliable, affordable public transport. Buses are the backbone of our public transport network, and must be protected."

 

Notes for editors

 

[1] These findings come from a new report, Transport, Social Equality and Welfare to Work, published jointly by Citizens Advice and the Campaign for Better Transport.

 

[2] In a letter to the Cabinet, David Cameron and Nick Clegg outlined the priorities of the coalition Government. "[T]his government, unlike previous governments, will govern for the long term. That's why we are prepared to take the difficult decisions necessary to equip Britain for long-term success. [...] That means welfare reform that will get people off benefits and into work [...] tackling the blight of youth unemployment and long-term investment in our infrastructure to build a competitive and sustainable economy for the future. These should be our priorities."  www.number10.gov.uk/news/latest-news/2010/08/pm-and-dpm-open-letter-to-cabinet-54208