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Pensioners face losing bus passes


Middle class pensioners face being stripped of their free bus passes, according to reports.

The Daily Mail says an Local Government Association-commissioned report found too many people who own cars or can afford tickets were taking advantage of free travel.

Spending £1bn a year of taxpayers’ money on them was a waste and free bus passes should be only for the poor and called for ‘targeting or means-testing - to select those who deserve the privilege, the paper said.

The LGA has denied it was in favour of means testing free bus fares.

The LGA spokesman on transport, David Sparks (Lab), said: “Councils are emphatically not in favour of means testing free bus fares. Bus fare concessions for pensioners are popular and councils wholeheartedly support them.

“There are real problems with the way the scheme has been funded that have caused major financial headaches for town halls. We would like the Government to look again at the details to come up with a better way of helping councils pay for this popular scheme.

“We commissioned an independent report to look at all these issues. But we are clear that means testing is not a way forward.”

“The LGA’s response to the report clearly states: ‘Means testing for concessionary fares is not the solution’.”


Readers' comments (2)

  • Those who "deserve the privilege" are probably the middle-class pensioners who have provided a large proportion of that £1bn a year of taxpayers' money!

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  • The idea of removing bus passes from pensioners who have cars or are deemed to be middle class etc reveals a fundamental problem with thinking in this country.

    It is fair that poorer pensioners are given free entitlement to aid their mobility. But at the same time it is unfair that those people who have worked hard during their lives to secure a good standard of living and who, through their taxes are paying for the entitlement of the poor, should themselves be deprived of this benefit.

    There are people who will disagree with this viewpoint, and on an individual issue there is an argument to do so. However, this sort of thinking - expecting the wealthy to pay, but excluding them from any benefit - is applied time after time after time in many domains of public service.

    It is discrimination at best and theft / corruption at worst.

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