Too Bonkers For The Online Edition

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From The Times:

“Commuters are spending an average of more than 10% of their take home pay on train fares”

This conclusion reached by looking at the average annual season ticket price and the annual average income for the country.

This rather missing the point that it’s the higher paid who a) commute and b) buy season tickets. Thus the comparison is like saying that Bentley owners spend 10% of take home pay on their annual service. Without that noting that Bentley owners have a slightly higher income than non-such.

As our eagle eyed spotter, Chris Miller, points out, this article is clearly too bonkers to make it into the online edition even as it appeared in print.

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Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

Are the trains empty? No? Then they’ve done their job correctly.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

It’s the case in France (and most European countries?) that the cost of travel to/from your place of work is tax-deductible. So not only is public transport heavily subsidised, it’s also paid from gross salary.

jgh
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jgh

As a contractor the HMRC allows be to claim back travel more than 50 miles a day, the assumption being that anywhere nearer than 25 miles would be a “normal” travel-to-work distance.

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Yes, UK tax payers who are self-employed can claim for some travel costs, but not for a regular commute (AIUI). In France, normal employees get to do this as well (I’m pretty sure that the people who told me this were employees, but in France there are a lot of permanent ‘contractors’ to get round the restrictive employment laws).

jgh
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jgh

For employees it would be claimable if it was travel away from your normal base of operations. So you can’t claim for your commute, but if you get sent off the the depot on the other side of the county, that’s “work” travel. Either the employer should pay your travel costs or you can get it knocked off your tax bill as “work-related expenses”. Just like buying a pair of steel boots when working on a PPE site. It’s when you don’t have a “normal” base of operations that HMRC apply the 50-mile rule, applying a fiction that your “commute”… Read more »