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Hipkins attacks bus pass changes for seniors

Chris Hipkins
Labour Candidate for Rimutaka

10 October 2008
Media Statement

Hipkins attacks bus pass changes for seniors

Labour’s candidate for the Rimutaka electorate Chris Hipkins has joined Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard in condemning the decision by NZ Bus to scrap the senior citizen bus pass. As a result of that decision older people in the Hutt Valley aged between 60 and 65 are facing price hikes on local buses.

“The decision by NZ Bus to scrap the senior citizen bus pass is completely without justification and amounts to little more than a bald attempt to rip-off older people,” Chris Hipkins said.

“From the 1st of October holders of a Super Gold Card the have been given the right to travel for free on local buses and trains. This free travel is being completely subsidised by the government so there is absolutely no justification for hiking up prices for those aged between 60 and 65 who don’t hold a Super Gold Card.

“NZ Bus are taking with one hand and receiving with the other,” Chris Hipkins said.

Under the old scheme senior citizens could purchase an all day pass for use on GO Wellington, Valley Flyer and Airport Flyer bus service for just $5. Those in the 60-65 age bracket will now be forced to pay $12 for the same service.

“I know how much many of our older residents rely on public transport. With the price of petrol increasing so much in recent times, more and more older people are turning to public transport to move around the region. This decision will hit them particularly hard,” Chris Hipkins said.

“I fully support Trevor Mallard in his call for NZ Bus to reinstate the senior citizen bus pass. Senior citizens are valued members of our community and I don’t think they should be penalised by the profit-maximising decisions of greedy companies,” Chris Hipkins said.


ENDS

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