Written Answers. - Free Travel Scheme.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

757 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will review the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 who needs a companion travel pass in view of special circumstances of his case; and if he will allow the claim. [19777/00]

The person concerned is under 66 years of age and in receipt of an invalidity pension and a standard free travel pass from my Department. Under the terms of the free travel scheme, an invalidity pensioner under age 66 may be entitled to a companion travel pass if: s/he is permanently confined to a wheelchair, or; a carer's allowance is in payment to a person who is giving them full-time care and attention, or; s/he is medically confirmed as visually impaired, or; s/he previously had this type of pass while receiving a disability allowance prior to transferring to an invalidity pension.

An application for a companion free travel pass was received from the person concerned in May 2000. His application was refused on the grounds that he did not satisfy the above conditions.

I have asked my Department to examine the question of extending the companion pass to categories other than those covered at present in a budgetary context.

Question No. 758 taken with Question No. 736.