Bus passes: Johnstone challenges minister over age eligibility

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (24 January) used Topical Questions at Holyrood to challenge Scottish Ministers to scrap a proposed consultation on raising the age at which people qualify for a free bus pass.

Free bus passes for the over-60s and disabled cost about £200 million a year and today Transport Minister Humza Yousaf refused to back down on plans to question the age of eligibility.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

“The benefits of free bus travel for people over 60 are huge, and it makes no sense to change what can be a lifeline for many. Not only do we not need a consultation on this, we need to see ministers rethinking their proposed cuts of almost £10million in the concessionary fares element of the budget.

“It beggars belief that at the same time as proposing cuts to bus service funding and restricting who gets a bus pass, Scottish Ministers want to give wealthy frequent fliers and hugely polluting aviation firms an easier ride by cutting Air Passenger Duty. Access to everyday public transport is a social justice issue, something the SNP have failed to grasp despite being in government for almost a decade.”