School busses need a rethink, not a blank cheque – Deering

-   Fine Gael Press Office

A Fine Gael TD has said we need to look at making the school bus system more efficient, ensuring a good service for all, rather than just throwing money at the problem.

Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering said: “Changes to the Department’s Primary School Transport Scheme were announced in December 2010 by the Fianna Fáil led Government as part of measures contained in Budget 2011 and derived from recommendations contained in the Value for Money review of the scheme.

“Fianna Fáil have now described the scheme they introduced themselves as a “ridiculous annual ordeal”. They are now calling for money to be thrown at a problem that they created themselves, with nothing to back it up.

“Estimates and unsubstantiated costings are unhelpful to parents and students.

“As the scheme stands, all eligible children are guaranteed a place on a school bus.

“John Halligan is the Minister of State responsible for school bus places. He has said that the scheme will be expanded in the future.

“I believe that the existing scheme will have to undergo a significant rethink. I would be in favour of looking at eligibility criteria and looking at ways of making the service more efficient for everyone.

“We can’t go back to the bad old days where Fianna Fáil’s first instinct is to throw money at a problem until it goes away. We need to find a sustainable solution backed by accurate figures and costings,” Deputy Deering said.

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