Retain free bus passes and Winter Fuel Allowance for Lancashire pensioners

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Conservative leader of the Local Government Association Lord Gary Porter publicly called for “an end to free bus passes for the elderly and for the automatic paying of winter fuel allowance to pensioners to be scrapped as a way of saving money that could be reinvested into social care.”
(Source: Huffington Post - 10th January 2017)

Lancashire Labour knows the health, well-being, social and economic life of most pensioners is enhanced by free access to buses and assistance with payments for winter fuel with the worst off older people benefitting the most.

The idea that the crisis in health and social care is caused by these benefits and that pensioners should pay for this is completely misguided. It is bus travel and help with heating that keeps people healthy and reduces the overall care bill. At a time when Lancashire County Council will have a financial black hole of more than £90m in its Adult Social Care budget because of government cuts, no one should doubt that if these two benefits were to go then the crisis in health would worsen rather than improve which is why its important we fight to make sure they don't.

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