Cuts Watch #133: Bus Passes
Press reports today say that the Department for Transport’s list of cuts includes an accelerated timetable for raising the qualifying age for the English bus passes scheme.
Since April 2008, older people and some disabled people have been eligible for free off-peak bus travel. There is a strategy for increasing the qualifying age in line with the raising of the state pension age, so that it will be 65 for men and women by 2020.
Every Department has to send the Treasury a set of cuts that would achieve 25 per cent savings and a set that would achieve 40 per cent. Today’s stories suggest that this may be brought forward (and some add that the scheme might be means-tested.) During the general election campaign, Mr Cameron said that a Labour claim that a Conservative government would abolish the scheme amounted to “pure and simple lies”.