The Spending Plan policy 3: target free bus passes for the elderly on those who genuinely need them

Each day we are publishing a blog on one of the policies from our Spending Plan. Click here to read the previous policy.

In England, local authorities are currently given grants to provide concessionary, off-peak bus travel to eligible disabled people and eligible older people (those above the women’s state pension age).

Some authorities such as in London provide further concessions with those over the age of 60 granted free peak time travel on buses, trams, Underground, Overground and DLR.

Concessionary fares are the responsibility of the devolved governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The requirement for local authorities to provide concessionary bus fares for older people should be abolished and the formula grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government reduced accordingly.

The grant would still be paid to local authorities to provide concessionary bus travel for claimants of disability living allowance, the personal independence payment and the attendance allowance (5 million people).

The cost of providing statutory concessionary fares to eligible older and disabled people was £1.087 billion in 2014–15, an increase of 1 per cent on the cost in 2013–14. After allowing for claimants of the above benefits, more than £500 million would be saved in each of the next six years.

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