MSE Poll: What should be means-tested? Free bus passes, the NHS, student loans?

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  • Hi, i do get fed up with the phrase free bus pass yes i can get on public transport with out paying but we PAY for the free bus pass in our rates.
  • borkid
    borkid Posts: 2,475
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    What is meant by available to all? Anyone living in UK for a couple of years regardless of nationality or only british citizens? Where's the contribution based column such as for the SP?
  • Hi, i do get fed up with the phrase free bus pass yes i can get on public transport with out paying but we PAY for the free bus pass in our rates.

    I guess if you're still paying rates you must be in NI?

    The rest of the UK pay Council Tax and pay for transport until State Pension Age, unless we're unlucky enough to live in London when we'd get bus and tube transport [STRIKE]free[/STRIKE] without paying at age 60. ;)
  • Fitzmichael
    Fitzmichael Posts: 165
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    Politicians decided. I'm 78, and I don't recall ever being asked if free university tuition should be ended. When I passed my A levels, I never gave a thought to university because those were still the days when university was for those - upper/-middle class - whose parents could afford the full costs - residence and tuition - unless they got a scholarship.
    Politicians are in charge; that's why they become politicians and if you didn't realise it before, surely the last 3 years of war in the Tory party must have made it plain.
  • planenut
    planenut Posts: 41 Forumite
    I'm an old ffffffffellow, so I get a winter heating allowance, automatically, and never asked. I'm not rich, but I really feel that this one should be means tested, and it's not even on the list.

    Why can everyone entering a National Museum or Gallery not just put one pound in an entry machine?
  • borkid
    borkid Posts: 2,475
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    Politicians decided. I'm 78, and I don't recall ever being asked if free university tuition should be ended. When I passed my A levels, I never gave a thought to university because those were still the days when university was for those - upper/-middle class - whose parents could afford the full costs - residence and tuition - unless they got a scholarship.
    Politicians are in charge; that's why they become politicians and if you didn't realise it before, surely the last 3 years of war in the Tory party must have made it plain.
    I'm 10 years younger, working class family but went to uni because I got grant (not a full one)and worked in the holidays not a penny from my family. There were no tuition fees then. Back then though there were fewer courses and places so unless you wanted to do an academic subject uni wasn't the right place. I do remember people studying HNCs though.
  • As a general rule I'm against means testing as the bureaucracy involved in carrying out the means test invariably swallows up a big chunk of the supposed savings. Most of these should IMO be free at the point of use (or available to all eligible in the case of disability and child benefits) and funded through general taxation.

    The only exception I would make is passport costs which everyone should have to pay full price for.
  • Isn't it strange that most of the ones that get the biggest thumbs-up for available-to-all are services affecting the older age group? I speak as a member of that group myself, by the way
  • POPPYOSCAR wrote: »
    I think we should do away with child benefit altogether and provide a free school meal to every pupil in place of it.

    That way no child is singled out and no child should be in school hungry.
    And all the other things it's used for? I'd have been lost without mine
  • Nick_C
    Nick_C Posts: 7,436
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    pollypenny wrote: »
    While I enjoy my free bus pass and OH's free TV licence I could afford to do without. However, I fully understand that these are essentials for some without an occupational pension.

    A fair, and fairly simple way to contribute would be to add a notional amount to my taxable income.

    I don't see how that would be simple. HMRC would need to know, each year, whether or not you were claiming the free bus pass and TV license.

    It would be grossly unfair to make pensioners pay tax on benefits which are available but which they do not claim.

    The simple solution is to give these benefits to people in receipt of Pensioner Credit.
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