But new figures show that the hit on women goes much further, and that women are suffering sharp rises in some of their most basic living costs as the result of Boris Johnson’s inflation-busting fare hikes.
Not only do women make the majority of journeys on public transport (52%, compared to 48% made by men), but they are most likely to be frequent bus users (57%). 1.3 million women in the capital (44%) are high frequency users of buses, compared with 600,000 (19%) who are high frequency users of the Underground.
Across the board fares have shot up at a shocking rate. But it is bus fares – the fares must likely to be purchased by women - that have increased the most sharply under the Tory mayor. By 2012 a single bus fare will have risen by 56%, jumping from 90p to £1.40. The cost of a weekly bus pass will have risen by 47%, whilst weekly and monthly travelcards on the tube have risen in price by 23%.
Added to this the gender pay gap women have to contend with, which currently stands at 15% (and may well be higher in London – although we can’t be sure since the Tory mayor scrapped the women’s advisor post, which monitored this), plus the government cut in childcare support, and we see exactly how difficult life is becoming for women in London thanks to Tory policies.
It’s just one more reason why London’s women should unite behind Labour’s campaign for fairer fares. Ken’s Fare Deal will see fares cut by 5%, frozen for a year and then rising by no more than inflation from 2014. Under the proposals the average Londoner will be £800 better off over the next four years. I’m calling on women from across London to join me at next week’s Fare Deal rally and support our campaign. Enough is enough and Boris Johnson’s unfair fares regime must come to an end.