Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ceisteanna (84)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

84. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 11 February 2014, regarding the maintenance charge of €23,000 per bus per year which are over five times higher than the equivalent charges for school transport in Northern Ireland, if he will immediately claw back all money paid to Bus Éireann under unlawful state aid rules in view of the fact that the 1975 agreement at paragraph 5.1.2 specifically provides for the expenditure on school buses for maintenance charges incurred and this obviously did not happen according the FGS Report 2009 and that he had no verifiable documentation that payments by him did not in fact cross subsidise maintenance workers maintaining buses that competed with private bus operators, thereby creating an unfair competitive advantage for Bus Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21732/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Bus Éireann has advised, and the Department is satisfied, that all charges for maintenance costs attributable to the school transport scheme have been calculated in line with the 1975 Summary of Accounting Arrangements.

I am satisfied that no issue of unlawful state aid and/or claw back arises. Furthermore, Bus Éireann has repeatedly confirmed that it does not cross subsidise commercial services from the operation of the School Transport Scheme.

I suggest that the comparisons referred to by the Deputy may not represent "like for like" comparisons. The Deputy might wish to submit to me relevant source material for his comparisons.