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Free bus passes for elderly must remain a priority

Published 05/10/2015

Recent expressions of concern from members of the Pensioners' Parliament about the potential loss of the concessionary bus pass due to cutbacks will worry all those who benefit from the service.

Supporting older people, especially those who are restricted physically, to get out and about is vital for their wellbeing.

The Assembly's older persons' free travel scheme, introduced by Peter Robinson as Department for Rural Development minister, is without doubt the most popular ever Assembly policy.

It would be a very brave local politician who would propose the removal of, or suggest means-testing, the free fare scheme; it's a lifeline for many older people.

However, those with the best interests of our older people at heart need to keep an eye on the political scene.

For Northern Ireland's older people this matter must be kept in the spotlight; it cannot be allowed to slip below the radar.

Providing free fares must continue as a priority.

CLLR ADAM NEWTON (DUP)

Belfast City Council

Belfast Telegraph

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