The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has said the Government must look at “all options” to fund social care in a new report. MPs have suggested scrapping or reducing schemes for pensioners, including free bus passes.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, the sustainable transport campaign, said: “It is true that funding for social care is critically low, but scrapping free bus passes for pensioners would damage the levels of care, not improve them.
“Concessionary travel for older people brings huge benefits for bus pass holders, other bus passengers and the wider community, and every £1 spent on the bus pass generates at least £2.87 in wider social and economic benefits.
“Scrapping concessionary travel would be a false economy for the government. The free bus pass enables many older people to volunteer and provide care for friends and family – removing this vital lifeline would jeopardise the whole informal care community. The report’s recommendations to cut funding for bus passes does not reflect Government policy and given the risk it would pose, this recommendation should not become Government policy.”
Notes to editors:
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About Greener Journeys: Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com