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Wait for government action on Flexi Tax Saver Ticket Unacceptable – Nash

8 February 2022

Ged Photo
  • Minister Ryan quizzed in Dail on failure to deliver on promised Flexi Taxsaver ticket
  • Labour’s Right to Flexible Work Bill required to maintain pandemic gains for remote workers

In response to parliamentary questions raised by Deputy Nash, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has stated that it is no longer considering a flexi tax-saver ticket and is now looking at other options.

Responding to the development, the Louth & East Meath Labour TD said:

“Last September I secured a commitment from the National Transport Authority on the introduction of a flexible Taxsaver ticket in response to the new reality of hybrid working.

“The failure of the Government and NTA to deliver on this promise will come as a hammer blow to the 15,000 or so people who commuted from the Louth and East Meath region pre-Covid.

“With the cost-of-living spiralling, commuters will now be forced to choose between expensive monthly or annual tickets (costing up to €3,620.00), despite spending fewer days in the office per week.

“It is simply not acceptable at this late stage for the NTA to say a flexi ticket is too ‘complicated’, especially when we have seen similar flexi tickets introduced in the UK and other EU countries last year.

“I quizzed Minister Ryan on this in the Dail on Tuesday and he admitted that the task to design a system was more complex than he had originally thought.

“This is cold comfort to local commuters who have been working productively on a remote basis and have now been effectively ordered into the city centre office with all the added expense that involves.

“The Minister’s for Transport and Finance respectively, had nearly two years to plan for this eventuality, something which I repeatedly pushed them to do.

“I am now calling for Minister Ryan to to step in and urgently prioritise the development and rollout of a flexible Taxsaver scheme.

"Failure to do so will see commuters left out of pocket or alternatively forced to ditch public transport for their cars, creating yet more traffic congestion and climate emissions.”

Nash continued:

“Similarly, we have seen the Government make a mess of proposed hybrid working legislation, as their toothless ‘Right to Request’ proposal will effectively give employers’ the power to pull workers back to the office on a full-time basis with no recourse.

“This is despite the incredible demand for blended work in areas like Louth and East Meath, with a recent CSO survey showing that over 90% of workers in the counties surrounding Dublin expressing a wish to continue working remotely in some form.

“This week Labour will be putting forward our own “Right to Flexible Work” legislation to defend the pandemic gains of workers and ensure employees have a real right to continue working remotely.”