Freedom Pass Subsidy (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Reference: 
2009/3521
Question By: 
Richard Tracey
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

How has the Government justified to you its plan to halve pensioners' bus passes in London by removing 49% from the concessionary travel subsidy?

Answer

Answer for Freedom Pass Subsidy (1)

Answer for Freedom Pass Subsidy (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Government announced on 4 November that, subject to consultation, it intends to cut London's previously announced 2010-11 grant to help provide free bus travel for people over 60 outside of the area in which they live by 49%. Providing this service became a statutory requirement in 2008. It appears that London's grant is being sent to help provide the service elsewhere in England.

The Government has given no justification to why it is almost halving London's grant to help provide the Freedom Pass. This is, unfortunately, just another example of the Government making demands of local government, without providing the means. I would encourage all stakeholders to respond to the DfT's consultation by the deadline to persuade ministers to reverse their decision. Otherwise an ever increasing share of the costs of the Freedom Pass scheme are likely to fall on London council tax payers.