Means Testing for Bus Passes

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2014 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
6 February 2014

Conference notes the Government wants to take away the bus pass from pensioners and introduce means testing. The bus pass saves many people from isolation and exclusion and is far more valuable to them than the cost to the Government of providing the passes.

The future of pensioners’ bus passes is of particular relevance to UNISON members employed in the transport industry because in many areas it is the availability and use of bus passes, especially by pensioners’, that ensures viable and sustainable local public transport. Without them many of these services would not be viable which in turn would have detrimental consequences for UNISON members employed in the transport industry.

Clegg and Cameron say the rich don’t need bus passes to enable them to get out and about but the more pensioners are poor than rich – most are living on £10,000 or less a year. 1.8 million pensioners live below the official poverty line.

Conference the elderly need their bus passes to enable them to get out and about, not because they are selfish but because without the bus pass they face isolation and exclusion from the outside world.

Conference we know many older people, often those most in need will not apply for means tested benefits and those just 1p above the threshold will lose out.

Without the ‘free’ bus pass many elderly will lose touch their children, grandchildren, not be able to go out to hospital appointments as paying bus or taxi fares would be too expensive for them.

Conference calls on the Water Environment and Transport Service Group Executive to work with the NEC and (via the NEC) seek the support of other trade unions to support the National Pensioners Convention campaign to protect the bus pass for the elderly.