Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the published view of the London Boroughs Association that unless the Government virtually double grant-related expenditure assessments for concessionary travel it will be almost impossible to maintain the quality of the scheme? Given the threat of rate-capping that is hanging over the London boroughs, can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that they will be able to provide a scheme as good as that which is now in operation?
Clearly, the hon. Gentleman has not seen the latest press release from the London Boroughs Association, which states:
Does my right hon. Friend accept that hon. Members on both sides of the House feel strongly about the plight of old-age pensioners? The line put forward by various Opposition Members, including the hon. Member for Woolwich (Mr. Cartwright), could be called a red herring.
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that for every week that the London Transport Authority remains in the hands of the GLC, £500,000 of ratepayers' money — they include old people—is being wasted?
My hon. Friend is right. I hope that we shall now be able to stop wasting ratepayers' money on a scare campaign. If this is the way in which the GLC debates the subject of its own abolition, it is clear that the Government were right to decide to abolish it.