Minister moves to calm fears ahead of free-travel review07/09/2012 - 13:09:24
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has today moved to allay concerns that she may be forced to take free travel from older people and carers.
Minister Burton confirmed that a review of the scheme is underway.
The scheme is capped at €77m, which means that means the Minister will either have to remove it from certain people, restrict new entrants, or re-negotiate the cost with providers.
Speaking in Dublin this morning, Minister Burton said that she hopes to negotiate the price of travel.
"We've issues with the transport operators - they are aware, of course, that that amount of money is a very, very large spend by Government," she said.
"I understand that they value the business - I know particularly from CIE that they value the free travel scheme".
"It's a matter which is for review and discussion."
Minister Burton said yesterday that she places a very high value on free travel.
The scheme benefits more than 700,000 older people, carers and people with disabilities.
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