Councillor Paddy McCartan confirms there are no plans to change the Free Travel Pass Scheme

Fine Gael Councillor Paddy McCartan has confirmed that there are no plans to change the Free Travel Pass Scheme for older people.

“The Minister for Social Protection clarified in a radio interview this morning that the Government has no plan to remove free travel passes from older people, and there is no suggestion that the free travel scheme is to be changed,” McCartan stated.

“The Free Travel Pass remained in place over the past three budgets and this is not set to change in Budget 2015. I recognise that people have made huge sacrifices over the past number of years, but the Government has always felt the Free Travel Pass scheme should stay as it is, ” he continued.

“I understand there has been some speculation about this issue locally. Age Action Ireland are campaigning to keep the pass in place, but the pass has never been raised at Government level as a possible area for cuts.

“A working group is currently reviewing the free travel scheme but it has not yet finalised its report. When this review concludes, the Minister will receive a copy of its report and recommendations for consideration.

“The Free Travel Pass gives older people freedom and independence; it supports them in getting to appointments, in visiting friends and family. The government recognises the importance of this and does not intend to change it.”