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ENABLE Scotland > Blog > Posts > I need my bus pass - don't take it away!
March 30
I need my bus pass - don't take it away!

ENABLE Scotland has called on the new Scottish Welfare Reform Committee to clear up what will happen to bus passes after proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Many people who have learning disabilities qualify for “concessionary travel” because they receive DLA.  This is paid for by the Scottish Government.  However, UK Government proposals to replace DLA with the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) mean that many people could lose out. 
Thousands of disabled people across Scotland have benefited from this entitlement since it was introduced in 2006 after years of campaigning to the Scottish Government.  But now, those same people may lose out.  Their needs have not changed – but the UK Government’s classification of what it means to be disabled seems to be changing.

Concessionary travel is vital to the lives of people who have learning disabilities – enabling them to get out and about in their own communities.  Many people who have a learning disability have some difficulty when handling money.  The national concessionary travel scheme makes independent travel possible for them.  A member of our focus group on benefit changes told me a couple of weeks ago:

“If I get mine cut – it will mean I lose my bus pass.  I rely on mine to get out and about and make new friends.  It means I will be financially worse off.  If I’m not out and about using my bus pass I’m stuck at home.”


As this is a devolved issue, we have asked the Scottish Government to continue to support disabled people to access independent travel – whether they lose out in new assessments or not.

In our submission to Welfare Reform Committee, ENABLE Scotland said: “We believe that it is of immediate concern.  There is an opportunity for the Scottish Government to give a commitment to ensure that all those who currently qualify for concessionary travel will continue to do so irrespective of the cuts being imposed from the UK Government.”

Remember that the Welfare Reform Committee is still seeking views from the public on what they think about welfare reforms and how they will affect people in Scotland.  Click here for more information.

  
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