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  • FIRST POST
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 21st Sep 16, 6:06 PM
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    Cardew
    Pensioner's 'perks' under review.
    • #1
    • 21st Sep 16, 6:06 PM
    Pensioner's 'perks' under review. 21st Sep 16 at 6:06 PM
    http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/money/investing-pensions/state-pension-and-other-pensioner-benefits-under-review-11364097761631
Page 3
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 22nd Sep 16, 10:06 PM
    • 25,744 Posts
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    Cardew
    Presumably if you don't use your pass then there is no charge on the taxpayer. Just because you receive one doesn't mean that you are using it and costing the taxpayer money, perhaps you could confirm this is the case ?
    Originally posted by nickcc
    This from a UK Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bus-statistics


    Latest bus and concessionary travel statistics

    In the year ending March 2015:
    •there were an estimated 5.16 billion bus passenger journeys in Great Britain, around two-thirds of all public transport journeys, of these 4.65 billion journeys were in England, of which more than half were in London
    •bus passenger journeys in England decreased by 0.6% compared with the previous financial year
    there were around 9.8 million older and disabled concessionary bus passes in England, with an average of 102 bus journeys per pass per year
    •bus mileage in England decreased by 0.6% when compared with the previous year. This was largely due to 10% reduction in mileage on local authority supported services outside London
    So as the number of journeys per railcard are measured, it would appear that possession of a free railcard, that is not being used, is not a cost to the Exchequer.

    From an impeccable source - The Daily Mail - free pensioner's railcards cost the taxpayer £1billion in 2013.
    • bigadaj
    • By bigadaj 22nd Sep 16, 10:56 PM
    • 7,375 Posts
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    bigadaj
    That's it, I'm shorting werthers.
  • jamesd
    So around a fifth of all bus passenger journeys were paid for by the free bus pass scheme. Interesting.

    Apparently quite a lot of those were pass holders using them to commute to work. Notably in London where a free bus and tube pass within London is available from age 60 whether working or not with no time of day restriction.
    • Sapphire
    • By Sapphire 23rd Sep 16, 2:14 AM
    • 1,746 Posts
    • 3,035 Thanks
    Sapphire
    Apparently quite a lot of those were pass holders using them to commute to work. Notably in London where a free bus and tube pass within London is available from age 60 whether working or not with no time of day restriction.
    Originally posted by jamesd
    No, this is not the case. Anyone who has a free travel pass in London can only travel free after 9.30 a.m., that is outside the rush hour. Before that they pay the standard amount for travel, like everyone else.
  • jamesd
    From the page I linked to: "You can travel free at any time using your 60+ London Oyster photocard on: Buses in London showing the red roundel Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail". In addition there is a map with times showing availability at various times for a range of rail services.

    From reaching the state pension age for women the Freedom Pass is available instead and "Your Freedom Pass is valid on all Transport for London (TfL) buses (in the Greater London area) at all times" and "The Freedom Pass is accepted all day, every day on the whole of the London Underground (the 'tube'), Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) network".

    Of course there are plenty of jobs that include working that starts after 9:30AM or on weekends. Even with a 9:30 restriction that would often allow the journey back from work to be free, saving much of the cost.

    So we have things like "My 60-plus freedom pass saves me £15,000 to spend on booze and fags. So why do I think it was bonkers to let me have one?" and says it's bonkers because he's using it to commute.
    Last edited by jamesd; 23-09-2016 at 3:20 AM.
    • GibbsRule No3
    • By GibbsRule No3 23rd Sep 16, 8:42 AM
    • 586 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    GibbsRule No3
    I have the 60+ card in London, that I paid £20 for but my understanding is that it cannot be used on the Railway until after 9.30 Monday - Friday and all day weekends. Has it changed since I got mine then? Bus and Tube are all day everyday, so where I live if I want to travel into London before 9.30 I'd get the bus to Richmond and use the Tube rather than rail. Re seeing it as a "Perk", I know lots of older people who use it to get out and about, visiting all sorts of things and that the benefit to health and well-being, mental and physical, probably out-way the cost. I have a very sprightly 80+ friend who uses hers all the time and she swears by it, for keeping her mind alert and body active.
    Paddle No 21
    • roddydogs
    • By roddydogs 23rd Sep 16, 8:52 AM
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    roddydogs
    Why did you apply for it?
    Originally posted by xylophone
    Why do people have a problem with this? Ive had one for 14 years, and never used it, so why did I apply? on the basis if I do need it, its there, say my car breaks down, or any unforeseen happening. Dont mind, do you?
    • MABLE
    • By MABLE 23rd Sep 16, 8:58 AM
    • 2,963 Posts
    • 1,558 Thanks
    MABLE
    You are receiving exactly what your contributions entitled you to receive.

    And as a matter of interest, if you do not use or require a travel pass, why did you apply for it?

    I assume that it's not a case of its arriving automatically as soon as you reach qualifying age?
    Originally posted by xylophone
    Because at the time I qualified for the bus pass I thought it might be useful rather than driving into the city. I suppose at the time I was very pleased to think I could travel free. On reflection it did not seem right when I have other modes of transport available. However its very good if I have to show my id.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 23rd Sep 16, 8:59 AM
    • 27,288 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    I use my bus pass a lot although I can, and do, drive. Sometimes it is easier to get the bus than have to bother about parking the car.

    However, if it is means-tested, I will just have to buy one I suppose.

    I'm a bit concerned about how the means-testing is applied. If it is just for those on PC, they are quite often better off than those who are not, because of the rent and CT being covered.

    I don't think that a State Pension that has been paid for by contributions should be means-tested.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 23rd Sep 16, 9:06 AM
    • 4,846 Posts
    • 4,238 Thanks
    p00hsticks
    So around a fifth of all bus passenger journeys were paid for by the free bus pass scheme. Interesting.
    Originally posted by jamesd
    Actually I'm not sure it's as simple as that.

    I believe the concessionary subsidy funding formula is quite complicated but effectively the bus company only receives any money for journeys that would have been made even if the traveller hadn't had a bus pass.

    For many of these journeys therefore, the bus company is effectively letting people travel for free and receiving no funding for doing so.
    Last edited by p00hsticks; 23-09-2016 at 9:09 AM.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 23rd Sep 16, 10:40 AM
    • 18,407 Posts
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    xylophone
    Dont mind, do you?
    I don't mind at all!

    And you will note that my question was put to the OP who said

    I have a bus pass but never use it because as I cycle, walk and drive a car its unfair on the public purse.
    Under these circumstances, a question as to why she had applied for one seemed quite logical?

    She has answered

    Because at the time I qualified for the bus pass I thought it might be useful rather than driving into the city. I suppose at the time I was very pleased to think I could travel free. On reflection it did not seem right when I have other modes of transport available. However its very good if I have to show my id.
    It would appear then that "travelling free" or being able to choose to travel free trumps any perceived unfairness on the public purse.....

    then there's always the ID aspect ......cheaper than buying a passport?

    (Icon because "tongue in cheek"....before I am told in no uncertain terms that the OP has a passport together with driving licence, letter from the DWP concerning her benefit and from each of her pension providers concerning her DB pensions......)
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 23rd Sep 16, 12:23 PM
    • 3,882 Posts
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    brewerdave
    With the "free" bus pass there is always the argument that its use reduces congestion and pollution.
    For instance,I use mine ~ twice per month to travel into our local "town" where car parking is a nightmare to go to the hairdressers,bank or a specific shop. I've also used it recently to travel to the main hospital where parking is totally impossible (and hideously expensive even if you find a space!!) Should they remove my pass, I'd be driven back into the car for these journeys rather than shell out a fiver each time
    Furthermore, the majority of the users of our local bus service are pass holders.If you struck a number of these out of the system, either the bus service would cease to run or would require an even heavier subsidy from the local authority than it already has.
    We have just had "car free day" -don't think getting rid of bus passes would help with that campaigns aims ,would it??
    Perhaps the age limit should be lifted to 65 ?
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 23rd Sep 16, 12:26 PM
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    xylophone
    Perhaps the age limit should be lifted to 65 ?
    In general terms, ( not London) it is increasing with female SPA?

    https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-elderly-person-bus-pass
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 23rd Sep 16, 1:16 PM
    • 25,744 Posts
    • 12,344 Thanks
    Cardew
    Actually I'm not sure it's as simple as that.

    I believe the concessionary subsidy funding formula is quite complicated but effectively the bus company only receives any money for journeys that would have been made even if the traveller hadn't had a bus pass.

    For many of these journeys therefore, the bus company is effectively letting people travel for free and receiving no funding for doing so.
    Originally posted by p00hsticks
    Interesting!

    I don't have a bus pass but I have asked a couple of friends who do use them. They are not aware that their journeys are recorded by the bus driver, they just wave their pass at the driver, and the 'regulars' don't even bother.

    However the statistics state that the 9.8 million pass holders use their pass on average 102 times a year. So are those journeys recorded by the driver or perhaps the on-board camera, or do they just take a sample and extrapolate?

    In the Gov. link I gave earlier it gives the subsidy the bus companies receive 'per journey' (a few pence) for every passenger. In my area the trips are mainly a couple of miles or so on 'hopper buses'.

    If the subsidy is 'per journey' surely these local trips can't attract the same subsidy as on some of the long distance bus routes of 50 miles or more??
    • 33Lurcher
    • By 33Lurcher 23rd Sep 16, 1:55 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    33Lurcher
    On the buses I use , you place the pass on pad next to the driver and it bleeps and records the journey , same for trams here but the recording sensor is on the platform and its the responsibility off the pass holder to scan the card (not monitored) . Trains you just show pass to staff on exiting the station (Manchester) .
    • Tammykitty
    • By Tammykitty 23rd Sep 16, 1:55 PM
    • 238 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    Tammykitty
    “Person 1 would get the basic £119 plus SERPS/SP2.
    If they were low earners, and their basic plus SERPS/SP2 is less then £155 per week, then (as long as they don't have any other pensions or savings over a certain limit) they may get pension credit to take them up to the magic £155 per week.
    Originally posted by Silvertabby

    Only if they are single - a couple both getting the basic state pension will not be entitled to pension credit (As the Pension credit limit for a couple is £237!


    My parents, have both started to receive there state pension in the last year or so - neither of them are receiving over £155 - Dad has worked from 16, mum took a number of years off when we were young, but probably still has around 30 years of contributions and got credits for Home Responsibilities - so both are entitled to the full state pension.


    They are not alone in being in this situation.


    For women, in this position, yes they have received their pension earlier than women retiring after 5th April, however men are still retiring at 65 (Until about 2019 I think).


    A woman born on the 5th April 1953 - retired on 6th March 2016 (And receives the old state pension).
    A woman born on the 6th April 1953 - retired on 6th July 2016 (And receives the new state pension)


    Woman A will have received £1,547 by the time Woman B retires.
    Woman B will be getting £36 a week more - so after 42 weeks, will have caught up with want woman A has received in total, and will continue to get £36 a week more.
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 23rd Sep 16, 2:09 PM
    • 20,456 Posts
    • 34,983 Thanks
    SailorSam
    Presumably if you don't use your pass then there is no charge on the taxpayer. Just because you receive one doesn't mean that you are using it and costing the taxpayer money, perhaps you could confirm this is the case ?
    Originally posted by nickcc
    Last week i went on a tour of the Mersey Tunnel, there is a lot more to it than just a hole in the ground. People in this area often complain about the charges when they're going up. In the 1930s when the tunnel was built, the promise was that it would be free, once it was paid for. One of the questions that someone asked the guide was .......... "What happens to all the money"
    He told us that the tunnel made a profit of £20 million a year, and that went to subsidize the ferries, and the fact that we get our bus passes at age 60. It's all part of Merseytravel.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
    • GibbsRule No3
    • By GibbsRule No3 23rd Sep 16, 3:33 PM
    • 586 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    GibbsRule No3
    BTW does anyone know how much child benefit costs the country and why do children get free bus/train passes? If they stop or means test SPs then perhaps those can be looked at as well. I mean why is there a payment for having children never worked that out, at least most people who receive the SP have hopefully worked at some stage and contributed. With the free OAP pass I'm guessing we are going somewhere to spend money, thus contributing to the nation and keeping other people in work.
    Paddle No 21
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 23rd Sep 16, 3:38 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 620 Thanks
    nickcc
    Last week i went on a tour of the Mersey Tunnel, there is a lot more to it than just a hole in the ground. People in this area often complain about the charges when they're going up. In the 1930s when the tunnel was built, the promise was that it would be free, once it was paid for. One of the questions that someone asked the guide was .......... "What happens to all the money"
    He told us that the tunnel made a profit of £20 million a year, and that went to subsidize the ferries, and the fact that we get our bus passes at age 60. It's all part of Merseytravel.
    Originally posted by SailorSam
    I remember where quite a lot of the Mersey tunnel toll went back in the early nineties and it certainly wasn't to whoever ran the tunnel.
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 23rd Sep 16, 4:07 PM
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    SailorSam
    I remember where quite a lot of the Mersey tunnel toll went back in the early nineties and it certainly wasn't to whoever ran the tunnel.
    Originally posted by nickcc
    And the guide also told us stories about how in the dim & distant past, when tickets weren't given out, the men on the toll booths would just hold their hands out as motorists drove past.
    But then that happens everywhere, and not just in this Country.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
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