NTA's decision to scrap flexi tax saver ticket plan 'deeply unfair' to commuters

ireland
Nta's Decision To Scrap Flexi Tax Saver Ticket Plan 'Deeply Unfair' To Commuters Nta's Decision To Scrap Flexi Tax Saver Ticket Plan 'Deeply Unfair' To Commuters
The decision from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to scrap plans for a flexible tax saver commuter ticket "at the 11th hour", is "unacceptable" according to a Senator. 
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James Cox

The decision from the National Transport Authority (NTA) to scrap plans for a flexible tax saver commuter ticket "at the 11th hour" is "unacceptable," according to a Senator.

Currently, tax saver monthly or annual tickets are loaded on to a Leap card and are exempt from income tax, PRSI or the USC.

This means employees can make big savings on commuting.

Hybrid working

With hybrid working now an option for many, there had been talks over a flexi tax saver ticket for workers who have to travel to the office two or three days a week.

However, it appears these hopes have been dashed as the NTA has shelved the plans.

Fine Gael Senator John McGahon is an advocate of flexible tax saver tickets and he is "extremely disappointed" at the latest development.

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Mr McGahon told BreakingNews.ie: "For the last 18 months I have been advocating for the introduction of a flexi tax saver ticket, and at every stage the NTA have said they wanted to introduce one, that they were working out the technical issues of how it would be implemented and introduced."

Mr McGahon said the NTA asked whether legislative change would be required and that he had confirmation from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe that it would not be needed.

I really feel that the NTA have led us up the garden path on this

He added that the NTA claimed they had worked out the issues in October 2021, and would introduce the flexible tax saver ticket at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

"We are now two years into the pandemic and the NTA have still not introduced a flexi ticket," said Mr McGahon. "It is completely unacceptable and deeply unfair to thousands of commuters from around the country who are having to fork out money on monthly and annual tickets, when they may only be travelling to the office for two or three days a week."

He added: "I really feel that the NTA have led us up the garden path on this, at no stage in their correspondence with me did they raise any concerns about it not being feasible. They were always very positive and said they would be working towards introduction of a flexi ticket."

Mr McGahon said he does not believe "we can take the NTA at face value" and that he would be seeking an urgent meeting with the organisation and Minister Donohoe.

"This needs to be resolved and some sort of flexi ticket system needs to be introduced for commuters as soon as possible."

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