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Today the Mayor is trying to ensure that his role in the Freedom Pass is not undermined. Most people would see the Freedom Pass (free travel for disabled people and those over 60) as a good thing. Much of it probably is but few people understand the cost (£213 million in the last financial year), see link.
The public debate and subsequent decisions about such benefits need to take place in the context of a full understanding of the costs. The Mayor is a great one for talking about freebies but not admitting how much they cost. The cost of this scheme is the equivalent of running two large general hospitals. I for one would argue that much of this resource should be re-targeted at the very old who can’t even physically get on a bus. There are few people who are in work or on good pensions who would strongly argue that they should be the recipients of this largesse.
The other thing the Mayor needs to accept that this scheme covers over one million people. It is not green Mr Mayor to give a million people free travel. In fact it is quite mad from an environmental point of view.
If you have come here from the Mayor’s press release follow this link to see my rebuttal.