Raising age of free bus passes for older people “not ruled out” by SNP

An SNP Minister has refused to rule out raising the age for older people to enjoy their free bus pass.

Jim Fairlie gave “no commitments” when asked for a reassurance on the current qualifying criteria, reports the Daily Record.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon, who quizzed the Minister, said: “The new minister quite clearly refused to rule out raising the age limit for the older person’s bus pass. This will worry a great many people and the Scottish Government should clarify its plans urgently.”

Scots over 60 are entitled a free bus pass that can be used all over the country. Passes are not means-tested and are given regardless of wealth and earnings.

A Government review of public transport called Fair Fares is expected to be published in weeks. Fairlie, the new Minister for Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity, was quizzed about the bus pass for older people at a Holyrood committee.

Lennon asked if he was protective of the current age and whether he could say the age would not be raised.

He said: “I’ll give you no commitments at the moment. And, again, I would have to come back to you with the details of that.” Asked whether the age criteria is a red line, he said: “I haven’t looked at it. I’m going to be absolutely honest, no, I haven’t looked at it. So you’ll just need to give me some time to get into the brief better.”


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