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A BUNDABERG pensioner was shocked to learn he will now pay double the cost to use his rail travel entitlements after the booking fees were increased from November 1.
Max Grove recently booked return fares to Brisbane for himself and his wife and was astonished to find that the return cost for travel on November 8 was double the cost, due to changes in the latest State Government budget.
Electing to travel business class and use two travel entitlements for each one-way trip, the trip back will now cost the couple $100 instead of $50 just to book.
"While one can understand the financial problems that the current government has inherited from the previous Labor government, there are plenty of other areas where expenditure could be reduced following the excesses of the previous government," Mr Grove said.
"This is a disguised or hidden budgetary impost on many who can least afford it, when you consider all the other areas where increases are occurring, such as electricity."
But the State Government insists that train travel is free for pensioners, despite the doubling of the booking fee.
"In the 2012-2013 State Budget, it was announced the Travel Train concession booking fee for pensioners and seniors would increase from $12.50 to $25," a Queensland Rail spokesperson said.
"The State Government has committed in the 2012-2013 budget to retain free travel for pensioners on the Travel Train."
LNP Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said, even with the changes, there was still a generous discount in place.
"The new fee charges still give pensioners a significant discount on travel," he said.
This article first appeared on www.news-mail.com.au
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