LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May has defended rail fare increases by insisting investment is needed. The Prime Minister said rises in regulated fares are kept to inflation, with 97p of every pound paid towards a ticket being put into the railways. Fares rose by an average of 3.4% last week, with an annual pass from Mrs May’s Maidenhead constituency to London increasing by £104 to £3,092.
Mrs May, speaking to BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, said: “Since privatisation, usage of the railways has doubled and we have seen the biggest investments since Victorian times in our railways. “A lot of people rely on our railways, we want to see good service on our railways but that does mean that investment is needed.” NHS issue: Theresa May has acknowledged more needs to be done for the NHS before claiming that funding is not the sole issue facing the service.
The Prime Minister added thousands of cancelled operations were “part of the plan” amid concerns over the NHS in England’s struggles to cope with mounting winter pressures. Mrs May also sidestepped questions on long-term funding as she faced Andrew Marr, who said he would not be interviewing her if he had experienced the same delays following his stroke as others have encountered. The pair traded blows over the state of the health service’s finances while Labour warned any promotion of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt would be a “betrayal” of patients.
Mrs May reiterated her claim that the NHS has been better prepared for this year’s winter pressures before adding: “You mentioned operations being postponed – that was part of the plan. Of course we want to ensure that those operations can be reinstated as soon as possible, but it’s about making sure that those who most urgently need care are able to get that treatment when they need it.”