The 10th above-inflation increase in a row led a campaign group to claim that the increases come at a time of "no perceptible improvement in services."
Last week Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "Yet again, rail fares go up with no perceptible improvement in service.
"Over the last 10 years, fares have increased by more than 50% - much more than people's incomes."
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The vice minister of foreign affairs criticised the comments as “ignorant”.
Taxes will need to rise to pay for a modernised health service, experts have said.
The son of one of those said to be involved in the theft claims the pair did it “for the thrill”.