Cavan-Monaghan Deputy Brendan Smith has welcomed the Government decision to extend the fuel rebate scheme to coach and mini-bus companies.
The Fianna Fáil TD had campaigned for the extension, criticising the Government for originally limiting the scheme to just hauliers.
“It comes as a welcome relief that the Government has now caved into pressure on this issue. I made several representations to the Finance Minister Michael Noonan campaigning for this simple amendment, because I am aware of the enormous pressure on smaller bus companies in Cavan, Monaghan and across the region. I am hopeful that the extension of this scheme will help ease the burden on them,” said Deputy Smith.
“There are many small and medium coach companies that are providing valuable employment and valuable services to customers in communities across this region. But they are struggling with huge costs that they cannot control. Fuel is a huge cost for these transport companies and it is something that can’t cut back on. Unfortunately it means that jobs in the sector are at risk as a result.
“This rebate has benefitted so many haulage companies. It is a relief that it will now be available to bus companies, providing much needed assistance to those struggling to stay in business and maintain employment levels.
“I am delighted that the Government now realises the benefits of extending this scheme to support smaller transport companies in our communities. The cost to the exchequer is minimal considering that jobs will be saved as a result,” Deputy Smith said.