Today has seen another hike in school transport charges. Fine Gael School Transport Spokesman, Frank Feighan TD, said that today's announcement coupled with an increase just four months ago at Easter means that school transport charges have risen by 70% in four months. His statement goes on to say:
"Just last Easter, school transport charges increased from €33 to €46 per term for students in the junior cycle and from €51 to €71 per term for students in the senior cycle. Today's increase showed charges increasing further to €56 and €78 respectively. This represents massive increases of 53% and 70%.
"That school charges have been hiked by these huge amounts highlights just how little regard there is for the financial strain such a massive increase will put on families.
"Obviously, with increases in the cost of providing school transport - including fuel prices - and charges being held constant over a period of time, there may very well be a need to increase charges. However, 70% increases seem excessive and I would like to know how Minster Batt O'Keeffe can justify such a massive hike in just four months considering that rising prices will not account for such huge rises in such a short period of time."