Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (546)

Martin Browne


546. Deputy Martin Browne asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if consideration will be given to providing free travel passes to all survivors of mother and baby homes in conjunction with medical cards and other supports. [6756/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

The Commission of investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has made clear recommendations in relation to redress on the basis of its extensive statutory investigations. Notably, the Commission identifies three specific groups for whom it recommends redress might be considered. The Commission also notes that redress can be financial or can be in the form of enhanced services.

The Government has made a very significant and early commitment to accept these recommendations and design a bespoke Restorative Recognition Scheme. An Inter-Departmental Group (IDG), which is being led by my Department, has now commenced the detailed work to scope the terms and conditions for the scheme. The IDG will examine the specific groups identified by the Commission but is not restricted to these.

While the provision of free travel passes to former residents was not specifically included by the Commission in its recommendations, I will pass the Deputies suggestion to the IDG for its consideration. Given the age profile of many survivors, as detailed in the demographic data provided by the Commission, it is likely that a significant number of survivors may already be eligible for free travel in accordance with the Free Travel Scheme operated by the Department of Social Protection.

Questions Nos. 547 and 548 answered with Question No. 531.