Fine Gael Laois/Offaly TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has today severely criticised Fianna Fáil, saying the Party’s Private Members’ Motion on the Free Travel Pass is ‘deliberately designed to scare older people’.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said that despite the fact that a number of senior government ministers have stated that there is no threat to the Free Travel Pass, Fianna Fáil seems determined to whip up fear over this issue.
“Fianna Fáil is actually claiming that the Government is threatening to ‘abolish’ the pass. I would like Fianna Fáil TDs to explain who exactly has made such a threat? Because all I have heard is senior government ministers confirming, on a number of occasions, that there is no threat to the Free Travel Scheme.
“A deliberate decision has been made by this Government to protect the Free Travel Scheme over the last three Budgets, despite the need to reduce welfare spending. The Government fully recognises the hugely important role the Free Travel Scheme plays in helping older people to live their lives to the full.
“In contrast, when Fianna Fáil was still in Government they Cut the widows’ pension; Cut the blind pension; Cut the invalidity pension; Cut the disability allowance; Cut the carers’ allowance.”
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy claimed that Fianna Fáil TDs ‘like to pretend they are the great protectors of the elderly’.
“It is completely irresponsible for Fianna Fáil to deliberately scare older people in this way, and cause undue and unfounded concerns,” she remarked. “I am calling on Fianna Fáil to withdraw this motion which is nothing more than scaremongering. Yet again Fianna Fáil seems determined to waste Dáil time, rather than putting forward new policies,” Deputy Corcoran Kennedy concluded.