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18 February 2022

Ged Photo
  • Meeting sought with National Transport Authority on delays to flexible Taxsaver ticket
  • Fare reductions for commuters demanded as long-promised Taxsaver ticket delayed

 Local TD Ged Nash has said the 20% reduction on public transport fares should also be applied to commuters who have bought annual Taxsaver tickets. 

He said; “In light of the delays to the introduction of the promised ‘flexible’ Taxsaver ticket for workers who are commuting to Dublin only two or three days per week, it is especially important that the 20% cut to fares announced by the government is applied to those who have forked out a lot of money on a Taxsaver ticket. 

“Commuters are furious that the long-promised ‘flexible’ ticket that was supposed to reflect the reality of the blended working model has been delayed. I have raised this consistently in the Dail, with the NTA and in the national and local media. 

“This week I have written to the NTA to request a meeting on this delay. Given the ongoing delays, it is only fair to commuters in Louth & Meath that 20% should be knocked off the price of their expensive Taxsaver ticket. 

“A 20% refund would go some way towards compensating thousands of public transport users in the area for the failure to deliver the hybrid product on time. 

“We are facing a real cost of living crisis, and the return to the office in the city has further stretched the incomes of many working families in Louth and East Meath. 

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

“At the very least, those who have already purchased a Taxsaver ticket should be provided with a 20% refund. I have written to both the Minister for Finance and Transport respectively to make this point.

“While a 20% refund is necessary now, going forward we need to see a speedy implementation of a Flexible Taxsaver ticket for hybrid workers. 

“It is simply not acceptable at this late stage for the authorities 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.

“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 for Transport has had nearly two years to plan for this eventuality, something which I repeatedly pushed the Department and the NTA to do.

“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 or redress. 

“Remote and hybrid working works. There is high demand for blended working 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 to work 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 request to continue to work remotely, and in a way in which those rights can be protected and vindicated.”