The Welsh Government has U-turned on its proposals to increase the qualifying age for concessionary bus passes from 60 to State Pension Age. The change of position was disclosed to the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in a recent meeting with Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport, and follows strong opposition to his original plans by the Commissioner and Janet Finch-Saunders, Shadow Minister for Older People and the Welsh Conservative’s Older People’s Champion.
Commenting on the Welsh Government’s U-turn, Janet said:
“I am delighted that a common sense decision has been made by the Welsh Government just before Christmas. However, it is just a shame that we have had to fight to defend the best interest of older people.
“The Welsh Government’s change of heart comes after major opposition in the Senedd.
“This term, I have personally challenged the Minister on the potentially negative impact of his proposals to move the age of eligibility from 60 to 65.
“It could have seen reduced bus use, threaten the viability of routes, and run the risk of increasing loneliness and isolation.
“Importantly, supporting bus passes made economic sense as it is estimated that every pound spent on concessionary fares delivers at least £2.87 in benefits for older people, their communities and local economies”.