Labour TD Ged Nash.
The NTA’s apparent mothballing of plans to introduce more flexible Taxsaver commuter tickets to facilitate hybrid working, has been sharply criticised by Louth Labour TD, Ged Nash.
Deputy Nash has been campaigning on the issue for some time and was angered by news he received from the NTA recently that the authority has not even been working on the issue.
An NTA spokesperson told Deputy Nash: “The Authority has not been working on a Taxsaver product for flexible working arrangements as we have been fully occupied on other initiatives, e.g. bringing in the 20% fares reductions and the 50% Young Adult Card scheme and then opening this to Commercial Operators.”
The NTA claims that demand for flexible Taxsaver products has “diminished” and that fare reductions and products like the TFI-90 ticket, “provide a good level of discount to many who previously sought Taxsaver tickets”.
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Deputy Nash acknowledges that the Taxsaver tickets were reduced in price in 2022, but he says it is “unacceptable” that the NTA has apparently shelved plans for introducing more flexible Taxsaver tickets to facilitate hybrid workers taking occasional trips on public transport, to work.
The local Labour TD has been pressuring Government and the NTA to bring forward a more flexible Taxsaver ticket to ease the burden of transport costs on hybrid workers who have returned to the office, two to three days per week.
Deputy Nash explains: “With flexible working become more-and-more widespread, a one-size-fits-all Taxsaver ticket is not going to work anymore.
“Hybrid workers from Louth and East Meath who have to commute to offices in Dublin, two or three times a week, are left with few options other than paying full-price fares at astronomical rates or paying for a full-time tax saver ticket that could cost over €2,000.”
Deputy Nash says: “The Minister promised, last October, that this flexible ticket was coming but now we are being told the NTA is not even working on the project.
“This is another devastating hammer-blow for hard-pressed commuters who are already facing rising costs in every aspect of their lives.”
He concluded: “If the government is serious about encouraging hybrid working and keeping people out of their cars then these workers must have access to affordable public transport.”