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Welfare and Pensions Welfare and Pensions

Maintain “other” pensioner benefits

Last updated: 03:30pm 5 March 2019

We will maintain all other pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences, for the duration of this parliament.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.66

Our verdict

“Other” pensioner benefits include those mentioned in the manifesto (free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences) but there are others, such as carer’s allowance, pension credit, and housing benefit. In fact, this policy covers every benefit other than winter fuel payment, pension protection (the Triple Lock) and health and social care costs – all of which are covered by separate policies.

So far, the government has not made any changes to pensioner benefits and has not announced any plans to change them. Free bus passes are available at the age of 60 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For those living in London, once you are 60, you are eligible for free travel within London on buses, tubes and other forms of transport. For those living elsewhere, you become entitled to a free bus pass at female pension age (currently 65), regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. Free eye test and prescriptions remain for over 60s, and TV licences for those over 75.

Because this policy is effectively a promise to continue the existing pensioner benefits, there is no further action required by the government to complete it. Rather than wait for the end of this term of government, we will mark this policy as ‘done’ now on the presumption that nothing will change. However, if the government does cut any pensioner benefits at any time during their term of office, the policy will be then be deemed ‘broken’.

We will therefore continue to monitor all pensioner benefits, and update this page if anything changes. Stay tuned!

Here’s the context!

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