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Free bus travel for young jobless rejected by Oxfordshire councillors
10:10am Wednesday 12th December 2012 in Headlines
AN idea to give jobless 18 to 24-year-olds free public transport was thrown out by councillors yesterday.
In a motion tabled at yesterday’s full county council meeting, Lib Dem leader Zoe Patrick asked the chief executive and cabinet to look at whether the concessionary travel scheme could include 18 to 24-year-olds who get Job Seekers’ Allowance.
She said: “The reason I have brought this motion to council is for the purpose of doing our best for our young people.”
Mrs Patrick said young people in rural areas often had to pay a large amount of money to get into town centres, and this hindered their chances of getting a job or getting to the job centre.
But cabinet member for transport Rodney Rose said the proposals would cost money the council could ill afford to spend.
He said: “In an era of cuts to things we all value I cannot support this motion.”
But Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said she found it “extraordinary” to hear the motion when Lib Dems in Government had supported the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance.
She said: “I’ve heard of people using fig leaves to cover their policies but this is one fig leaf too far.
“It is your Government which has stopped EMA, your Government which has pushed up young unemployment to completely unacceptable levels.”
The motion failed, with all Tories voting against.