Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - School Transport Scheme.

50.

asked the Minister for Education in view of the proposed saving of £6.5 million for 1988 in school transport, the estimated number of pupils to be carried under the school transport scheme from September 1988 compared with September 1987 at (a) primary level and (b) post-primary level.

In September 1987 there were 87,500 post-primary pupils and 68,800 primary pupils availing of school transport services. I do not envisage that there will be an appreciable variation in September 1988.

Arising from the fact that a month ago on 3 November the Minister told me she was finalising measures to save £6.5 million in 1988, is she still finalising the measures and, secondly, on what basis were the Estimates for 1988 which save £6.5 million on school transport drawn up? Were they drawn up estimating the same numbers travelling next year or a lower number because of different eligibility limits? Can I have the answers to those questions?

They were drawn up based on the numbers availing of school transport. I do not envisage, and neither do my Department envisage, an appreciable variation in September 1988 over the amount of pupils availing of school transport in September 1987. The first part of the Deputy's question asked if I was still finalising my plans. The answer is, yes, I am.

That disposes of ordinary questions and questions nominated for priority for today.