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Cuts to €1m a day school bus system must go ahead - Minister

Junior Education Minister Ciaran Cannon today confirmed that the Government cutbacks to the rural school transport scheme will go ahead in September.

The new measures are part of a €3.5m euro saving and were made in the context of a jump in cost of bus services from €50m in 1997 to €180 million last year, Mr Cannon explained.

He said it meant that the Government now was spending €1 million a day on school buses and were actually carrying 34,000 less children on that system.

Under the cutbacks parents will have to pay €50 per child and a maximum of €650 per family from September. The cost to the government was €1000 a child and it was reasonable to ask parents to contribute that sum, the Minister said,

At a meeting in Listowel last night Mr. Cannon got an angry response from parents and teachers as he told the gathering that he had to go ahead with decisions taken by the previous government.

He said the only way out of the present situation would be if money could be found elsewhere in the department.