Published: 24 February, 2012
• I WONDER if the normally very efficient, caring and fair social services arm of the Westminster City Council knows how much unhappiness has been caused by the way in which it has chosen to cut the costs of the taxi card service.
Instead of cutting further the number of journeys that any one card holder can make, it has been decided that taxi cards will in future be available only to those already on other benefits. This seems somewhat unfair.’
You could have a person who has arranged their finances so responsibly that they are not reliant on hand-outs but with an income no bigger than someone on benefits and exactly the same difficulty about using public transport.
Surely those on low incomes who need a card should be treated the same, no matter what the source of income.
Officially anyone can appeal against the withdrawal of their card but at the council’s last South Westminster Area Forum we were told that no one who was not in receipt of benefits had had their card reissued.
And “benefits” relates here only to those means-tested.
That does not include carer’s allowance, so you could have someone unable to use public transport and thought to need care so badly that a care allowance had been granted but the recipient was still ineligible for a taxi card.
The council needs to look at this decision again.
There are a number of very, very unhappy people whose only real chance to get out and about was with the aid of this much appreciated facility which has been suddenly snatched from them.
Dolphin Square, SW1