"We're all in this together..."
Hollow words from a hollow government. It turns out that Tory members attending Conference in Manchester will be entitled to some extra privileges, ultimately paid for by the Greater Manchester tax paying public.
On the Conservative Party conference website, they proudly announce that System One are:
"...pleased to offer complimentary travel cards for all Party Member representatives attending the event. These will be valid on bus, tram and train travel in Greater Manchester and will be presented in a travel pack with map and further information on getting around Greater Manchester. This will be issued with your Conference security photographic pass and handbook."
So who are System One? It turns out that they are:
"...co-owned by Greater Manchester’s private bus, rail and tram operators and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)."
We know that Transport for Greater Manchester is, "...the delivery arm for an elected body" and is governed by Greater Manchester's 10 Local Authorities and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority who make decisions about how public money is spent.
So who made the decision to offer free passes to the obviously very hard up Tory members attending their conferences? I'm all in favour of public transport, but when students can't qualify for discounted passes and those struggling by on a minimum wage have to pay a full fare, then this decision is an utter disgrace. We'll be pursuing this until we get answers.