Young Women’s Trust response to Labour’s free bus travel announcement

Thursday 12 April 2018

YWTCommenting on the Labour party’s pledge to introduce free bus travel for under-25s Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: 

“We welcome the idea of free bus travel for under-25s as it recognises the financial crisis many young people are facing. The bus to work can be as much as an hour’s pay for young people, many of whom are on low pay, struggling to make ends meet and falling into debt. 

“But, as well as short-term help, the priority has to be long-term financial independence for young people, which means providing quality jobs that are paid a decent wage. 

“That’s why Young Women’s Trust is calling on the Government to extend the National Living Wage to under-25s. This would lift many young people out of poverty and give them hope for the future.” 


Notes to editor: 

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. The new National Minimum Wage rates came into effect on 1 April 2018. Per hour, the rates are:
    1. Apprentices: £3.70
    2. 16-17 year-olds: £4.20
    3. 18-20 year-olds: £5.90
    4. 21-24 year-olds: £7.38
    5. 25 and older: £7.83 (the National Living Wage)
  3. The Office for National Statistics’ ‘Distribution of low paid jobs by 10p bands’ data (October 2017) shows that 1,073,000 people under the age of 25 are paid less than the National Living Wage. That is more than a third of under-25s who work who are earning less than the then-National Living Wage of £7.83 an hour. 558,000 of these (more than half) are women.
    1. 16-17 year-olds can legally be paid £4.20 an hour less than those aged 25 and over. Based on a 35 hour week, this amounts to a difference of £6,607 a year.
    2. Young Women’s Trust commissioned Populus Data Solutions to conduct a survey of young people. A representative sample of 4,010 18-30 year-olds in England and Wales, from the Populus Live Online Panel, were surveyed between 4 and 14 July 2017. The survey found that:
      1. an estimated five million young people are struggling to make ends meet;
      2. 41 per cent of young women said it was a real struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 28 per cent of young men;
      3. 25 per cent said they are in debt all of the time and 25 per cent also said their debt level had got worse in the past year;
      4. 41 per cent put their anxiety down to worries about being able to afford to buy a home and 37 per cent down to their current financial situation;
      5. out of a range of options, the two most popular policies were raising the apprentice minimum wage (supported by 83 per cent) and introducing equal pay for equal work by extending the National Living Wage to under-25s (supported by 79 per cent). 59 per cent supported abolishing university tuition fees.
      6. Young Women’s Trust’s petition calling on the Government to extend the National Living Wage to under-25s has gained nearly 54,000 signatures. More information on how to get involved can be found at
      7. For more information or to speak to a case study, please contact Bex Bailey on or 07963018281.