Burnham-On-Sea’s MP would like to see free bus passes being given to young people instead of wealthy pensioners, she said on the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday (February 26th).
Appearing as a panelist on the BBC1 programme, Tessa Munt explained: “It’s pretty simple because if you earn enough to be on a higher rate of tax then you don’t really need those benefits,” she said. “We have already done it with child benefits.”
“I think we should help young people up to the age of 19 – they should certainly have a bus pass now that school is compulsory up to the age of 18.”
“In an area like mine where there is very little public transport, and you end up paying £600 for a bus pass, if you have two or three children and they have to go to college or sixth form school, then it’s catastrophically expensive. It’s a disincentive for young people going into further and higher education.”
The idea brought mixed reactions from the studio audience and viewers on social media, with several pointing out that the Lib Dems’ track record in hiking up tuition fees for youngsters.
During the show, Tessa also responded to a separate question about second jobs for MPs, saying that her research reveals 281 MPs has second jobs with declared earnings of over £7.4million for 26,600 hours in the last year.
“This is disgraceful – absolutely unacceptable,” she said. “There is no other place in this country where you can rock up after your electorate chooses you and then say I’m sorry, I’m only going to do it three days a week – that is just pants! It is completely rubbish.”
Later in the show, she responded to a question about whose fault it is that the UK’s net migration has risen and targets missed. She said: “This was a silly promise to have been made [by the government] and that’s why it didn’t go into the coalition agreement because it could not possibly be kept.”
But she added: “A lot of immigrants bring an enormous amount of wealth, and they invest in this country by creating jobs and creating businesses. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think we should have immigration. We’ve always had immigration. We’re a complete mix of all different races.”