Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Thieving rail

Not programming related…

Holy spaghetti monster! This morning I made the mistake of asking how much it will be to renew my annual rail ticket. I really wish I hadn’t asked… from GBP3117 to GBP3672 – which is very nearly 18% – yikes!

This isn’t a very original complaint, but have these people not seen the state of the economy! And when you consider that I have to pay this out what the state deigns to leave me after income tax (@40% on any new income) and state deductions (NI etc) – and by my crude reckoning, in order to pay this extra GPB555 I’d have to achieve extra income in excess of GBP1000 – just to break even on travel (i.e. before any other increases are paid for, you know, like inflation on everything else…).

If it wasn’t for my employer offering an interest free loan on travel costs, I’d have to add interest to the above bill (either interest lost on savings, or interest accrued on a credit facility).

So, my options:

  • accept that any annual pay review that isn’t pretty extraordinary (unlikely in the current climate) is going to represent a pay cut
  • drive instead and somehow convince my employer to let me work 2 (or more) days per week at home (otherwise it becomes even more expensive) – and sacrifice the time I spend reading / working /etc on the train
  • look for a job with lower commute costs

I’ve been regularly commuting by train for nearly 4 years; renewing long-established travel arrangements should not be this stressful.