Commenting on new research from the Local Government Association about the bus pass funding gap reaching £650 million, George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, says:
"Removing the free bus pass would be a massive blow to older people. It would take away a vital lifeline to independence for many older people who rely on local bus services to stay connected to their community and reduce loneliness, and this could severely affect their wellbeing.
"It's yet another kick in the teeth for older people, who are already suffering from a social care system that's creaking at the seams, and who may soon lose their free TV licences too. The government needs to take responsibility and not push the costs onto already stretched local authority budgets."