Written Answers - School Transport.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 681 No. 2

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  225.  Deputy Ruairí Quinn  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe   if Bus Éireann is obliged to pay €2 million to private operators under the school transport scheme from its own budget in view of the abolition of the fuel rebate scheme by the Department of Education and Science in the supplementary budget of 7 April 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16884/09]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (Deputy Seán Haughey): Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  As the Deputy is aware, the Fuel Duty Rebate Scheme (Provisions of Section 99 (1) Finance Act 1999) allowed for a rebate in respect of the excise duty paid on fuel used by private contractors on delivering school transport services. This scheme, which was processed by the Revenue Commissioners, ceased on 31st October 2008 in accordance with the EU Energy Tax Directive.

I indicated in my reply to the Deputy in Parliamentary Question Number 729 of 22 April, 2009 that Bus Eireann was informed on 7th April that due to the very difficult fiscal conditions, it was not possible for my Department to approve any increase towards compensating private operators on contract to Bus Eireann for any loss of income arising from the termination of the fuel rebate scheme.

[506]The reply also indicated that provision of €2 million was made in the 2009 Estimate to meet the estimated cost of the compensatory allowance. The school transport estimate has now been reduced by €2 million to €192 million in the supplementary budget.

In view of the fact that the school transport estimate has been reduced by €2 million to €192 million, funding is not available to Bus Éireann to pay a compensatory allowance to private operators.

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