I was pleased to see Boris highlighting his pledge to keep the Freedom Pass on his website. There has certainly been a lot of misinformation given by Ken Livingstone and his cronies over the last year or so, suggesting that the concessionary travel scheme was under threat from the Conservatives.
This has never been the case, but Livingstone repeated the claims to divert attention away from the main argument. At the moment, London Councils, an umbrella organisation representing all of the Boroughs administers the cost of running the scheme taking money from each council. Transport for London set the price for the pass. If London Councils feel that they are getting a raw deal, they have recourse to bring it in front of an arbiter; one Ken Livingstone. This is hardly equitable and ensures that TfL can squeeze yet more money away from local control into the centralised pot being dished out from City Hall.
Each party believes that it is a good idea to provide free travel for over-65s and disabled people. However Ken Livingstone has attempted to make it received wisdom that because the Conservatives – who are the largest Party on London Councils by controlling the most Boroughs – deign to disagree with Livingstone, we would make the fantastical jump of scrapping the whole thing. Definitely a case of saying a falsehood enough times to make people believe it!