Average train fare to rise four times faster than your wages in 2012
What's a good way of getting some life back into the economy? How about hiking up the price of the things that get people to work every day? Yeah. That's a really smart idea.
And that's what appears to be happening as groups note that the government are raising the prices of train tickets by 13%, which is a rise four times quicker than your wage will grow.
And sadly, this isn't happening in some distant future. These are the forecasts for 2012.
Next year, season tickets will rise by the rate of retail price index inflation plus 3% until 2014, and there's room for a further increase of 5% with some services.
"It will be a straw that breaks the camel's back," says Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT). "There are both economic and political consequences for this. For some people in the London labour market and some cities outside of London, this will be a big chunk of money.
"If you look at places where there is a large number of rail commuters, there is a significant number of marginal seats. Those are precisely the places that will be affected by eye-watering rail fare rises."
Of course, train operators won't mind raising prices at all, but they're keen to point out that they're only doing as they're told by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Theresa Villiers, the rail minister, says: "The scale of the deficit means that the government has had to take some very difficult decisions on future rail fares, but the long-term solution is to get the cost of running the railways down. That way we can get a better deal for passengers and taxpayers. We are determined to do this and if we succeed, we hope to see the end of above-inflation rises in regulated fares."
What is so galling about these price increases is that the cost of rail travel rose by 6.9% last year, without any improvement in service. So, regardless of the political posturing, the crux of the matter is we'll be getting a shoddy service for a hugely inflated price.