SIR – Further to an article you published last week referring to the Free Travel pass, I wish to clarify for your readers that, contrary to what the article suggested, I have never proposed abolishing the Free Travel pass. I have however stated that, if I had to choose between a further reduction of bus services to rural Ireland, or the introduction of an annual €6 administration charge for some users of the Free Travel scheme, I would favour introducing a minimum annual charge on those who can afford €6 per year, rather than allow any further reductions to services in rural Ireland. My point being that the Free Travel pass introduced in the 1960s when there was a train service to West Cork is of limited use to people in West Cork now and, if there are any further reductions in public transport services for rural Ireland, it will be of no use at all, benefitting urban Ireland alone. Government is about making decisions and choices. And, I have always been up front and honest with people letting them know where I stand on issues that affect them, as opposed to Fianna Fáil who are currently trying to present themselves as being in Government and Opposition at the same time.
It is certainly humouring to take lectures from a party like Fianna Fáil who took the medical cards off the over 70s, reduced the hourly minimum wage, cut the Blind Pension, presided over the loss of 300,000 of our people’s jobs and bankrupted the country when last in Government, just six years ago.
Jim Daly TD