Thursday 10 July 2014
Following the announcement from DRD Minister Danny Kennedy indicating that funding for the concessionary fares scheme could be under threat, Age Sector Platform is calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to reassure older people of its commitment to the Smartpass scheme.
The charity which is responsible for the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament says defending the need for the scheme forms part of its ‘Hands Off’ campaign which also highlights the importance of benefits like the winter fuel payment and free prescriptions.
Francis Hughes, Chair of Age Sector Platform, commented: “The announcement from Minister Kennedy will be of grave concern to thousands of older people across Northern Ireland to whom the bus pass remains a lifeline. The scheme enables older people to lead more active and social lives; allowing them to carry out caring and grandparental duties whilst also helping contribute to our local economy.”
“We are leading the ‘Hands Off’ campaign in Northern Ireland, which aims to defend the need for universal pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel payment, free prescriptions and the bus pass. To everyone who disagrees with cutting or means-testing the bus pass, I would say this – sign the ‘Hands Off’ petition and make your voice heard on this important issue.”
For more information on the Hands Off Campaign, visit www.handsoff.org.uk or phone 028 9031 2089.