Once again the issue is raised of benefits enjoyed by wealthy older people – see Guardian Report – along with the suggestion that those in that category should refund the benefit to the government or give to charity. This is inevitably a never ending story. We should point out that our long running survey (see below) produced not a single report of a well known rich person using a bus pass. And we would also point out that the funding of bus passes is done on the basis of bus pass journeys registered, not on the number of bus passes issued.
Wealthy people making use of a bus pass is an issue that seems to concern many, especially Tory MPs. (e.g. report in Daily Telegraph) We find this intriguing as we have rarely spotted an obvious wealthy toff on our travels by bus pass. So we are inviting readers to help us assemble some facts on this phenomenon, by keeping a look out for wealthy toffs, and reporting the sightings to us at the Bus Passes blog. To help with this we are suggesting a number of clues to look for, e.g.
• suspected ‘toff’ gives driver £10 tip
• has a minder to handle his bus pass
• wearing a fur coat is a dead giveaway
• speaks in a very posh voice
• talks on a diamond studded iphone
• alights at 5 star hotel
• carefully dusts the seat before sitting down
• talks in loud voice about recent world cruise
• keep an eye out for celebrities: e.g Judi Dench, Michael Winner, Sean Connery, Alan Bennet, Mrs Thatcher, Vince Cable – well known celebrities are rarely ‘down on their heels’
This list is not meant to be exclusive, you may have your own method of spotting someone who is ‘loaded’ – we’d like to hear from you if you have a dead cert way of identifying one. Please use the comment form below to notify us with your ‘toff spots’
We will of course be pleased to accept your photos you have taken as corroboration.
NB I may be famous for my work on this blog, but I am definitely not wealthy.