Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony, has received 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, and has called on Fianna Fáil to put an end to their scaremongering on the issue.
“Approximately 873,000 people are eligible for the free travel pass and depend greatly on it. This includes elderly people and people with disabilities.
“Recently we have heard a lot of scaremongering around the free travel pass, largely started by Fianna Fáil. Let me assure the people of Mayo and Galway that there is absolutely no threat to this scheme and no intention to introduce a charge.
“I raised the matter with the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, and he has given me a concrete assurance that there is no plan 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.
“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.
“I’ve spoken to a number of elderly people in my locality to allay their concerns on the free travel pass and as their local Fine Gael representative I will continue my support for the scheme in our time in Government.”