Paying for free travel?

 

Sir, – I note the suggestion that a flat fee of €50 per annum be charged for the free travel pass (“Annual charge for ‘free travel’ pass proposed by State in 2014”, January 17th). While this has been estimated to raise about €37 million, it seems to thwart the original concept of providing travel opportunities to elderly people who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Why not instead use the tax system to raise the same amount? Let’s value free travel as a benefit-in-kind of (say) €300 per annum. Those of us who pay no income tax would pay nothing. Those who pay tax at 20 per cent would pay €60 per annum. It would cost higher income earners €123. I consider €123 per annum for free travel to be excellent value and would be prepared to pay it if that is necessary to save the scheme. And, of course, anyone who wishes can opt out of the scheme and pay nothing. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK CASSIDY,

Dundrum, Dublin 14.

Sir, – If they keep cutting public transport, there won’t be anything “free” left to travel on. – Yours, etc,

EOIN CLANCY,

Wexford.