Fine Gael Leader on Dublin City Council & local North Inner City Councillor, Ray McAdam, has welcomed assurances from the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, that there is no proposal to introduce a charge on the free travel pass for elderly people.
“Approximately 873,000 people are eligible for the free travel pass and depend greatly on it. This includes elderly people and people with disabilities.
In recent days, there have been media reports mooting the possibility of a surcharge on the free travel pass, which I have highlighted with my Fine Gael colleagues in the Oireachtas. I raised my concerns with the Fine Gael Oireachtas members knowing what a lifeline it is for many vulnerable people across the North Inner City.
Minister Varadkar has since provided concrete assurances that he or his officials in the Department of Social Protection have no plans to introduce a surcharge on the free travel pass.
“The Government currently allocates €80 million annually to this scheme which provides free travel for those with eligibility on the main public and private transport services including road, rail and ferry services provided by companies such as Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas and services provided by over 80 private transport operators.
I have spoken to a number of my elderly neighbours in Stoneybatter and across the North Inner City in order to allay their concerns on this matter and as their local Fine Gael Councillior I will continue to work with local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. in supporting the free travel pass during our time in Government.
“Fine Gael in Government is determined to use our strong economy to benefit those who need it most and we are working to continue improving the quality of life for people and communities all across the country.”