Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (159)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

159. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the fact that Vantastic have had to introduce a flat rate charge for passengers on their hospital routes in Dublin Fingal; if her Department has reduced its funding to Vantastic; if this is a result of a reduction of funding from her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32458/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Vantastic, like all community and not-for-profit contract holders with the community services programme (CSP), acts independently of the Department of Social Protection in the determination of and the fees that it charges for the services it offers to its membership and the general public. Vantastic is funded from income from its membership, charges for journeys and funding under the CSP. The grant for Vantastic in 2012 was €835,000 and was set at €822,000 in 2013. The CSP grant reflects the nature of the contract with the programme rather than any reduction in the level of funds available to the Programme. The charge introduced by Vantastic for this particular service is a matter for the Board of the company and does not relate to the services that are part funded by the Department of Social Protection. A key feature of the CSP is the requirement of the contract holder to generate a substantial level of its resources from the fees charged or other traded income from service provision. The overall level of funding provided to the CSP was increased in 2013.