Wellington’s Victoria university students Association, backed (unsurprisingly) by the Public Service Association and some other bodies, are calling for free public bus transport for students. Several points arise.
First, there’s no such thing as free buses. They cost a lot to buy, service and run.
What the students are omitting to say is who they think should pay these costs for them.
A second point is their reasoning for this demand, namely the cost of living. That being their argument then why just buses? Why not free accommodation, food and clothing for them? There’s no difference in principle to targeting transport.
Frankly, I’m a big believer in the desirability of a stint of starving in the garrett for the young, as a lesson on life’s realities and an incentive to get stuck in and make something meaningful of their post-student careers. Boxing has an excellent adage which sums this up, specifically, “a hungry fighter is a good fighter”.