Cheaper railcards should be delightful news, as according to recent research by the Resolution Foundation, millennials are found to earn less than their parents during their first years of employment.
Rob Holdsworth, Director of Communications at the Resolution Foundation, told the Voice of London: “They (young millennials) were hit hardest by the post-crisis pay squeeze and even today, aren’t moving jobs as frequently as their predecessors did.”
“Young people have not enjoyed the kind of pay rises that earlier cohorts received.”
A leaked document circulated on a UK rail forum, which appears to have been sent to Rail Delivery Group (RDG) staff, said that the millennial railcards will go national in early 2018, as reported by The Evening Standard.
Moneysavingexpert.com claims that the train company, Greater Anglia Railways, will offer 10 000 of the new cards in a trial starting from December 2017.
The unverified document also said that the new pass will be based on the existing 16-25 rail card, which gives a third off most fares, The Telegraph reported.
Currently, the 16-25 railcard is available to those aged between 16 and 25 years of age or mature students in full-time study for an annual fee of £30. However, the National Rail allows yearly railcard purchases up till a day before your 26th birthday or a three-year railcard for £70 up till a day before your 24th birthday. In both instances, the rail cards could be valid until you are 27 years old.
The unofficial document reported by The Evening Standard also stated that there is likely to be a £12 minimum fare for tickets (other than advanced fares) between 4.30am and 10am Monday to Friday– except for public holidays and dates in July and August.
A spokesperson from the Rail Delivery Group refused to comment when asked by the Voice of London: ‘‘We can’t comment on this at the moment, but we are always carrying out research and working with the train companies to develop new offers that make leisure travel easier, and better value for money.”
A paper published by The Resolution Foundation earlier this year about the income gap between millennials and the previous generation showed men born between 1981 and 2000 earn an average of £12,500 less by the time they are 30 than the previous generation.
Rob Holdsworth, Director of Communications at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Today’s millennial generation are the first post-war generation not to have enjoyed higher living standards than the generation before them.”
He also mentioned a few important reasons for this phenomenon, such as lower pay rises and increasing housing prices, saying: “Young people have not enjoyed the kind of pay rises that earlier cohorts received.”
“Millennials are also spending a record share of their income on housing. What’s more, in return for this record spending they’re less likely to own their own home and more likely to live in smaller, insecure rented accommodation. This matters both for their current incomes, but also their lifetime living standards if they’re unable to build key assets like housing.”
It is no surprise that millennials are facing tighter financial situations, and this may not necessarily improve in the near future. Judging by the current state of things, anyone between the ages 26-30 could certainly benefit from The Greater Anglia millennial railcards.
Words: Ainaa Mashrique| Subbing: Leanne Hall.