Unsustainable transport costs must be addressed
• 20% reduction in transport fares already wiped out by cost increases
Labour Senator Mark Wall has today (Friday, 18th February) demanded clarity from the government regarding the 20% reduction in transport fares and its actual effectiveness.
Senator Wall said:
“We welcomed the announcement from the government that people would see a 20% reduction in transport costs. Data from the CSO has consistently highlighted the fact that people are being squeezed by transport costs.
“However, there is now a major question mark over the effectiveness of such a cut in fares, given that prices have recently gone up. This 20% reduction will only go some of the way in bridging the gap.
“My office has been inundated with commuters who are barely able to make ends meet between paying rents or mortgages, food and bills. They had hoped to see some change in their transport outgoings and costs and feel badly let down. It looks like the government is continuing to just tinker around the edges.
“Everyone is feeling the pinch of the increased cost of living but our young people are particularly exposed. One young student from Newbridge contacted my office saying that due to the recent price increases, she is now paying 68% of her SUSI grant on transport. This is simply unsustainable.
“Indeed, the much-trumpeted Youth Travel Card, which was promised by February, will not be available until much later this year. Transport affordability and access remains a huge issue for students in terms of the cost of living, as well as having a crucial role to play in climate action. We need action, not words, from this government.”