Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Department of Education and Skills
Question 149: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to reverse the charges proposed to the primary school transport scheme from September 2011 in view of the fact that to maintain a school transport service for a minimum number of seven eligible school going children for pupils in rural areas when no other public transport option is available, the charges will have a disproportionately negative impact on these children and their families. [10608/11]
The changes to school transport services were announced in the 2011 Budget by the previous Fianna FÃ¡il-Green Party Government and derive from a recommendation in the recently published Value for Money Review of the scheme.
The charge, which applies to all eligible primary pupils, is being introduced to ensure that school transport provided for these pupils is fully utilised in a cost efficient manner.
Given the major financial constraints facing the country, I cannot reverse the changes to school transport as announced by the previous Government. We all have to understand the legacy of economic mismanagement which the last Government gave to the country.