asked the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total amount of money allocated, during the present financial year, to local authorities for the provision of concessionary travel fares for retirement pensioners; and if he is satisfied that these resources have been used by local authorities for this purpose.
£103 million was included in relevant expenditure for the 1978–79 rate support grant settlement for England and Wales on account of the cost of providing concessions for the elderly and handicapped. Latest indications are that local authorities will spend rather less on concessions this year than had been assumed.
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what further steps he is taking to ensure concessionary bus fares for pensioners in all local authorities; and if he will make a statement.
I hope that recalcitrant local authorities will still choose to act on the advice in circular 2/78 that they should introduce a half fare concession as a minimum. I shall consider what further steps are necessary in the light of developments.