Tories threaten bus passes and Winter Fuel Allowances for pensioners

People line up to save bus passes and fuel allowances

To sign Derbyshire Labour’s petition and save bus passes and Winter Fuel Allowance go here: https://www.change.org/p/hm-government-retain-free-bus-passes-and-winter-fuel-allowance-for-pensioners

Derbyshire County Council Labour Group is running a County-wide campaign to retain free bus passes for pensioners and the Pensioner Winter Fuel Allowance.

The campaign arises as a consequence of the Conservative leader of the Local Government Association Lord Porter publicly calling for “an end to free bus passes for the elderly and for the automatic paying of winter fuel allowance to pensioners to be scrapped as a way of saving money that could be reinvested into social care.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/lord-porter-social-care-funding-crisis_uk_5875187fe4b0cf4ed4100b74)

The Chair of Derbyshire Labour Group Dave Wilcox said that the proposal illustrated how far the Tory leadership were out of touch with the impact their policies could have on the ground.

“The health, well-being, social and economic life of most pensioners is enhanced by free access to buses and assistance with payments for winter fuel with the worst off older people benefitting the most.”

“Let no one be under the illusion that people need buses to access shops and chattering in the bus queue and on the bus too is often the only social contact some people have all day,” said Councillor Wilcox.

“The idea that the crisis in health and social care is caused by these benefits and that pensioners should pay for this is completely misguided” said the Leader of Derbyshire County Council Anne Western.

“Indeed it is bus travel and help with heating that keeps people healthy and reduces the overall care bill. No one should doubt that if these two benefits were to go then the crisis in health would worsen rather than improve.”

Lord Porter’s position on bus passes and winter fuel allowances was supported by Barry Lewis, the leader of Derbyshire Conservatives who, responding to a debate initiated by Councillor Wilcox, said: “When it comes to Lord Porter and his position on Adult Care I entirely agree with him.”

“We certainly support him in the issuing of free bus passes and winter fuel allowances. Not every elderly person in the country needs those bus passes to be free, nor do they need the winter fuel allowance,” said Cllr Lewis.

“In the next few weeks every pensioner in Derbyshire can expect to be asked to sign the petition on paper and on line,” says Councillor Wilcox.

To sign the petition online, please visit: https://www.change.org/p/hm-government-retain-free-bus-passes-and-winter-fuel-allowance-for-pensioners.

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