SHADOW TRANSPORT Secretary Michael Dugher has promised free pensioner bus travel would not be cut as part of a Labour government’s efforts to reduce the deficit.
Mr Dugher claimed the party’s promise of fairer council funding would mean they were in a better position to help meet the cost of free concessionary travel.
The amount of Government money going to councils to help pay for concessionary travel was cut by more than £250 million in the last Parliament and many have complained they are struggling to bridge the funding gap.
Mr Dugher said: “There’s been lots of scares in the negative, rather desperate campaign that local Conservatives have been running that somehow Labour will take it away and we are saying we introduced the bus pass, we are 100 per cent committed to keeping it as well as the TV licence and winter fuel payments all but for the richest five per cent of pensioners.”
Mr Dugher acknowledged Labour would face “tough choices” on spending if it wins the election next week but promised “fairer funding” to give northern councils a better deal on the money they receive from Whitehall.
Mr Dugher was campaigning in Commercial Street, in Rothwell, with Labour’s Elmet and Rothwell candidate Veronica King.
Elmet and Rothwell is currently held by the Conservatives’ Alec Shelbrooke, who won in 2010 with a majority of 4,521, and is one of Labour’s top targets in the election.