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If mums had taxi meters, they'd earn €10bn for lifts

IF Ireland's mothers pooled together and formed a taxi company they would earn €10bn by the time their children have finished school. New figures suggest that a 'mums' taxi firm' could earn the equivalent to a quarter of the nation's bailout debt burden in just 10 years.

In money terms, each mum would be entitled to claim €29,498.80 for her taxi services for school runs.

The calculations have been made by AA Ireland based on a sample of its members who have children in the relevant age category.

They found that the country's 450,000 mothers, with children between five and 14 years, spend a substantial part of their day playing chauffeur.

The staggering €10bn equates to the cost of each child attending a primary or secondary school 5km from home.

"When you attempt to put an equivalent monetary value against the hours mums and dads spend driving their kids around its a real eye opener", says Conor Faughnan, the director of consumer affairs for AA Ireland.



He urges families to give mothers a break, spare a thought for all those "taken for granted" lifts and "allow mums to hang up the car keys for a day".

The study found two-thirds of mothers gave a daily lift to their children, compared to just under a third of fathers.

A further one in four gave regular lifts and only 1pc of mothers with cars never gave lifts.

In the case of fathers, while fewer gave daily lifts, four in 10 said they regularly played chauffeur to their children and only 3pc never gave a lift.

Grandparents gave 2pc of the lifts while a smaller number of journeys were divided between other relatives, family friends, child-minders, neighbours or shared car pools.

The AA based the costs on the equivalent taxi fares for eight years of school runs for primary pupils and for the first two years of post primary school and took into account present day taxi prices and school calendars.

For primary school kids the costs over six years would be a total €22,618.80.

For children attending first or second year post-primary the cost for those two years alone would be €6,880.

This brings the bill to €10,241,502,756 for the countries 347,179 children in that age category.