It's really very odd, this idea that the over 60s have, that governments should pay their bus fares. Wherever did they get it?
They got it from governments reckoning that it would be a vote-winner with the gullible. And it would stop them thinking about proper pension provision.
Most of my uncles worked from 14 to 65, then retired and died before they were 70. They were cheap to pension off. They paid National Insurance for a very long time and drew an Old Age Pension for a very little time.
Governments and those who vote them in do have this excuse: they never saw the vast increase in life expectancy coming. It came upon us very quickly. We should have been ramping up obligatory pension contributions decades ago. Now it's too late.
The least painful solution is to encourage people to work longer. This is slowly being done through the raising of the state pension age. But, perversely, our governments still encourage people to think of themselves as old before their time. The bus pass, the bogus "Winter Fuel Payment" ( a cash handout ), free prescriptions, all kick in at 60. Sixty, for goodness sake!
The only rationale is that sixty is the sex-discriminatory female retirement age. It won't be for much longer but the damage has been done by this extraordinary bit of sex discrimination.
Now we are in a position where it will be very hard for governments to claw back the "universal benefits" handed to the over sixties. The only way I can see that it might be done is to commit to adding the savings to the National pension pot. After all, a self-respecting person would prefer to pay their own bus fares out of a decent income. Governments only gave you the Bus Pass because they wanted to see you tug your forelock.