3rd March 2009
Councillor Oliver Tully, Chairman of County Louth Vocational Education Committee, described the increase in school transport charges for secondary schools students as anti-family, as most families have no choice but to pay additional charges to get their children to school.
‘Families have already taken on a disproportionate burden with Brian Lenihan’s wide ranging levies and charges but the increase in school transport charges is unjustified when the same families have already taken a hit in their take home pay and face increased bills across the board with the removal of school transport subsidies. An additional 132euro is now being levied against primary school students, with a hike of 66euro on senior cycle student’s tickets.
‘Primary school transport charges have increased by 203% in this school year to 300 euro, with post primary students experiencing a 96% rise, also now costing 300 euro.
‘Those families with three or four children dependent on school transport now face the new school term with even greater dread, paying an exorbitant 650 euro for a family ticket, an increase of 31%.
‘The budget has ruthlessly targeted families for extra charges that they cannot avoid.’
‘This is very unfair treatment of lower income families, these people have not prospered during the Celtic Tiger years and are not banker’s wives with the option of taking children to school in 4 wheel drives. The school bus, in a lot of cases is the only means of getting children to school and what about the ‘Greens’ or should we call them the ‘Yellows’, who should be advocating free school buses as a means of reducing greenhouse gases and encouraging all parents to use school buses, thus reducing the traffic on our roads.’