Varadkar says there will be no charge introduced for the Free Travel Pass for elderly

CORK based Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, is pleased that the Minister for Social Protection, Dr Leo Varadkar TD, has moved to dispel fears around a proposal to introduce a charge on the free travel pass for elderly people.

“Approximately 103,000 people in Cork have a Free Travel entitlement – including elderly and people with disabilities – which provides critical support for many vulnerable people.

“There are many people, both locally and nationally, who depend greatly on the free travel pass, so it was most alarming to hear recent media reports, which suggested the introduction of a charge for the free travel pass.

“I was pleased with the personal reassurance earlier this month from the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, that there are no plans to introduce a surcharge and that the free travel pass, will remain as intended – free.

“The Government currently allocates €80 million annually to this scheme which provides free travel (for those with eligibility) on the main public and private transport services, including road, rail and ferry services.

“I hope this announcement will reassure the many here in Cork, who contacted me directly, to raise their concerns and fears on the matter.

“Our continued economic recovery should benefit those who need it most, and Fine Gael in Government is determined to continue improving the quality of life for people and communities throughout Ireland. As a local Senator I will continue to support the free travel pass as I believe this is a crucial lifeline for many.”