YOUNG people aged between 0 and 30 will be entitled to travel for free on public metros, trams and buses across the region from 9 October.
Regional president, Ximo Puig, made the announcement during the General Policy Debate in Les Corts, the Valencian parliament, on Tuesday. The measure will benefit around one and a half million Valencians and will be in place until 31 December. Puig said that, compared to last year’s prices, it meant a saving of 135 euros per young person and stressed that it would help families struggling from rising prices, as well as the region’s youngest workers.
The measure comes just weeks after the regional government introduced a 30% discount on season tickets and multi-trip tickets for all users of public transport. The 30% discount has been in place since 1 September and will remain until 31 December 2022, although any tickets bought and not used before that day will be valid until 31 January. Individual single and return tickets are not included.
Today’s offer of free public transport for the under-30s is just part of a package of financial measures unveiled by the president to help Valencians feeling the pinch during the current cost of living crisis. Puig explained that the progressive fiscal reform is aimed at helping all those with annual incomes of under 60,000 euros as well as promoting economic activity and employment.
Other measures announced include deductions for families with mortgages, a 10% increase in the amount exempt from taxation, new personal income tax brackets adapted to the current situation and an increase in the amount and beneficiaries of all existing deductions.
Measures will also be brought in to support industrial sectors that are having the hardest time and, in particular, ceramics, in order to supplement the Government’s aid to the gas-intensive sector up to the limit set by the EU.
A Valencian Forestry Cooperation Fund, of 50 million euros, will be created, and measures will be implemented to strengthen job creation, health, education, social care and access to housing.
Announcing the new measures, Puig told the parliament: “While some lower taxes for the richest, here we help the majority of society make ends meet” because “if the aim is social justice, the road to get there is called fiscal justice.”
Spokesperson for the opposition PP (Popular Party), María José Catalá was, as expected, critical of the president’s proposals, saying that Puig had “only lowered taxes because of pressure from PP and fear of the ballot boxes”, referring to the elections in the spring next year.
She said that Valencians had “an incoherent president” who didn’t walk down the street and that if he did, people would tell him that “electricity costs three times more than a year ago”, the price of an average “shopping basket is skyrocketing”, it is “almost impossible to rent a house”, the region has “the worst deficit in Spain only behind Navarra” and that inflation in Valencia is “above average”.
In rather optimistic fashion, Catalá indicated this year’s debate would be the last for both of them, “His as president and mine as spokesperson,” she said, before pointing out that Valencia PP president Carlos Mazón would take his place and she would be the mayor of Valencia.