The Freedom Pass is one of the most popular and most valued services that local councils provide to senior citizens. That little card is the ticket to independent living for many people. And pensioners rightly get angry when they sense it is under threat.
So I think it’s a huge mistake for the Labour government to undermine Londoners’ Freedom Passes by removing £50M worth of subsidy.
London Boroughs pay for the scheme, Transport for London delivers it, and Government subsidy helps make the whole thing possible. Labour have pledged to extend the scheme to the rest of the country, which is fine; but now they want Londoners to give up funding of our Freedom Pass to pay for Gordon Brown’s promises, which is not.
Cllr Terry Stacy and I have launched a petition calling for the Government to reverse their decision to cut £50M from London’s Freedom Pass budget, and save the Freedom Pass in its current form for Islington’s 26,000 pensioners.
It was certainly a popular cause with the pensioners at the St Luke’s Centre last week: unlike Labour!