London Councils are warning that the three year settlement for the payment of special grant in support of concessionary fares is under review and that the third year of agreed funding may not now be paid to London Boroughs at the level that had previously been promised.
If this were to happen, it would be a breach of faith between central
government and Londoners.
I am sure that Department for Transport ministers realise how sensitive a topic this is, particularly when the Local Government Association has had to describe as “problematic” a recommendation in a research paper that they had commissioned that proposed means-testing concessionary fares, with the Daily Mail polling its readers on whether to introduce a means-test and with the matter certain to be an issue in the London Elections next year (and no doubt the General Election as well).
So I trust Department for Transport ministers will kill this suggestion quickly.
The Labour Party in London has always had an excellent record on
concessionary fares and it would be unfortunate if that record appeared to
be tarnished by a redistribution of funds away from the Capital, as is
apparently being considered.