Talk about get your priorities wrong – this could lead to a summer of Transport discontent, some may even call it ‘pay-back’ for staff asking for over-time during last years Olympic games for working harder and longer.
The Tories are in a tizzy because under the benefits of working for Transport for London (TfL), partners of Staff can claim a free Oyster Travel Card, the scale of the cost when looking at the entire TfL budget is almost negligible, and the way its being approached you would have thought hard-working staff had been caught with their fingers in the petty-cash tin rather than, using a benefit entitlement. It’s like criticising you or I for taking out an employer contributory pension. As long as TfL employees who are taking up the benefit are paying the appropriate ‘Benefit-in-kind’ taxes on their take home pay. I after all get use of my company car for personal miles for which I pay company car tax on from my income. I’m not sure if I should be bothered all that much – it’s a pay settlement negotiation between employer and employees – I do know I would rather give £17M in travel that didn’t actually cost me tax-payers anything in real terms, than forking over the equivalent in above inflation pay-rises.
If the Boris Johnson really wanted to save tax-payers cash inside of spending time on this he should be focusing all his attentions on TfL’s development programme, as less slippage and waste would pay-back far more than £17M for his time.