Swinney should scrap peak fares to help get skint Scots back on their feet

Train passengers.
Train passengers. -Credit:ScotRail

Peak rail fares are one of the many ways workers are ripped off across the country. People who use trains can find ­themselves paying double, simply for the pleasure of travelling to work.

These shocking charges hit low and middle-income Scots in the pocket and deter rail use. So it was welcome that the SNP/Green government launched a pilot in October to scrap peak rail charges.

It meant commuters between Glasgow and Edinburgh paid the same, regardless of the time they set foot on the train. The policy was also an example of providing incentives to people to ditch their cars and embrace an ­environmentally friendly alternative.

Supporters feared the ­government, citing cost, would wind up the pilot when it ended in June. But the decision by the incoming Swinney administration to extend it by another three months is positive.

Such a move is a good cost-of-living crisis initiative that also helps the planet. It is also worth noting that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to scrap.

So we hope this announcement will lead to a permanent ending of the peak fares con. The Scottish Government lost its way by focusing on a series of niche issues of low priority to most voters.

Swinney has promised to concentrate on bread and butter issues and he should be given time to deliver. Scrapping peak fares should be one of many moves to help Scots get back on their feet.

Throw book at online firms too

The Record has long championed the need for children to be protected from harmful online material.

The Our Kids … Our Future campaign, which we launched last year, has as one of its key demands a call for online ­platforms to take seriously their ­responsibilities to young people.

Yet time and again we find new ­examples of children being exposed to sexualised or violent content on social media.

Today we report on a worrying new group on WhatsApp called "Biggest Group Chat". The people behind it encourage children to join the group and then send them pornographic material which is stored on their smartphones.

Whether the criminals behind this do it for sick thrills or to later blackmail the kids involved, we don't know. Parents in Ayrshire who discovered it were right to call in the police.

Those who execute these scams should feel the full force of the law. More importantly, the social media giants who profit from this obscene content should also face justice.

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