School transport fees to remain unchanged for 2010/2011 school year


Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today received a commitment from the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills that a proposal to charge €500 per student for school bus fees will not be implemented.

In recent weeks, there has been much speculation that the government would raise school transport fees, thereby creating huge hardship for many Clare families.

Deputy Carey said such charges would impact unfairly on families in rural areas of County Clare where there are little other options but to take the bus.

Given the speculation, Deputy Carey asked the Minister for Education and Skills in Dáil Éireann what the position was in relation to the coming school year. Proposals contained in the McCarthy Report suggest charging all pupils, both primary and secondary, €500 per annum. Government were said to be considering this in the course of pre-budget discussions.

Deputy Carey said:

“I found it incredible that government would even consider this at such at difficult time for families. Many Clare parents have been in touch with my office expressing concern at any proposed rise in school transport fees. Minister of State, Seán Haughey confirmed to me that the arrangements currently in place for school transport fees will remain unchanged for the 2010/2011 school year.”

He added:

“This is welcome news for parents who continue to experience enormous financial stress. It’s critical that the public school transport scheme be protected in order to ensure access to education for all our citizens weather they live in rural or urban settings.”