I am disheartened and frankly ashamed at the facile level of debate  from"professionals and MP's" that surrounds the very real possibility of stopping free bus travel  and  the winter fuel allowance. Question Time with David Dimbleby was an example. The focus is all about spurious short term financial gains and nothing about the potential  impact  on the physical and emotional well being of the elderly, as well on the local economy. We go into our towns to meet friends, go to classes and leisure pursuits and enjoy ourselves (and spend money), everything that research says we should be doing to cope positively with ageing. Free bus travel is essential to facilitate this and it is greatly valued. Increased social isolation could be a very real problem otherwise, leading to mental and physical ailments that could be an increased drain on the NHS and public sector. Staying at home also means using more heating  just to keep warm take the winter fuel allowance away would make this very difficult for a lot of people.

It may be that people on pension credit will still receive both free travel and winter fuel allowance; people who have a high retirement income may not need them to the same extent. But people like me, of which there are hundreds of thousands.
have a small works pension, that stops us receiving any benefits at all, and these measures would affect us the most. Also many elderly people live alone , have only one income to pay the same daily costs that affect us all, is this really fair, to further penalise them?  Let us tell the politicians to start treating us as the hopefully do their own grannies and grandads! Pat

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Comment by johnarchibald on November 12, 2012 at 19:21
This country,the UK, rewards those who fail and are sacked for their incompleteness, BBC is the latest. The pension of senior civil servants is at the least generous. The gap is widening between the haves and the have nots, because the haves look after their own.
Comment by Alan Cummings on August 29, 2012 at 15:38

Strange isn't it that governments that can waive the tax for large companies trading at the Olympics on a click of someone's fingers then feel the need to rob some of the least well off people in the country?  

I feel strongly that everybody should contribute to tax, including large, multi-national companies trading in the UK.  I have asked my MP for details of the person who was able to change the tax laws so easily.  I have also asked for details of any other organizations being allowed to trade tax free in the UK.  

Perhaps if they collected tax on a fair basis they would not need to rob those on a pension....

Comment by Frances Andrews-Speed on July 13, 2012 at 2:35

However, Family Allowance and all other benefits are wasted on those who have "comfortable" lifestyles, and by those I mean the people who have either have highly paid jobs or very high pensions.   I am not advocating a means test, but it is more than obvious those who are living on state pensions alone ( usually women who have  stayed at home to bring up their children, the disabled both physically and mentally and the poor) are the ones who need these benefits.    The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider and wider...its obscene the amount of money that's wasted/stolen, whether it be corrupt Bankers and MPs .. we all know at our age, the rich have clever accountants to save them paying taxes.taxes that could have taken care of the NHS.......while the rest of us have money taken from us by the government.    Now we are forced to sell our homes...nurses are not getting paid enough, doctors are demanding more money...when they already get more than enough..

Comment by Frances Andrews-Speed on July 13, 2012 at 2:20

Here Here !!!

Comment by Raymond Dunlop on July 10, 2012 at 13:54

Finally get to age when you actually get a non means tested benefit and the powers that be try everything they can to scupper it. I am still working on a below average income but still enough to do me out of any means tested benefits. I'm sure there are many thousands in the same position. The buses, and trains continue to run whether there is free travel or not. The only difference with abolishing free travel would be the drop in money going into the economy which would be helping struggling businesses to survive and as Patricia states increase social isolation for many.   The ethos for the introduction of the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes and free TV licence for the over 75s were introduced as  non means tested benefits for everyone. If the government feel they must do away with it, then do away with it completely, not modify it to discriminate against those who are marginally are outside the threshold. I feel the Government have not researched the effect on the economy by doing away with these benefits. Overall I feel retaining the benefits in there current form would be a net gain for the economy the the general well being of everyone. 

Comment by Kevin on June 11, 2012 at 17:57

Patricia hi,

On the topic of funding by HM Government, these are of interest. refer http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmtreasury/7003543869/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmtreasury/7003544231/

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