Poverty an issue for Londoners coming into city council budget season

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
Poverty an issue for Londoners coming into city council budget season

For many Londoners riding the bus on a regular basis may not seem like something that bogs you down financially or even something you may think twice about. Unfortunately that is not the reality for many low incomes families in London, but city council could lift some of that financial burden this week. Council will be looking into subsidies for youth on the LTC which is exactly what many Anti-Poverty activists in London are looking to accomplish. Many activists have spoken directly to council members to remind them of their promise to help combat poverty in London just a year ago during budget talks. One of these proposals is to have children under the age of 12 being able to ride the bus for free. This type of fare abolishment for youth already exists to an extent here in London as children under the age of 5 are already able to ride for free. The economic impact of this proposal is estimated to cost the city about $600,000’s a year.

Andrea Ruth works for the London Transit Commission and believes that this fare abolishment needs to occur. She cites many cases of families who have to choose from the options of bringing their kids to the food bank via LTC and spending an extra 10 dollars, or paying their rent that month.

The criticism comes from council members who say that they are already spending too much. As of now, the current budgetary spending for 2017 will cost every Londoner an extra 76 dollars in taxes from the previous years budget. By spending more to abolish the youth bus fare it would only increase the taxes to Londoners.

Mayor Matt Brown says that he looks to keep his promise of minimizing tax increases, while also listening to what the public is saying. The Mayor believes there is a way to subsidize bus fare for youth without increasing taxes, and he acknowledges that this is an issue.

For more information on how the 2017 city budget is laid out, visit:

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