Free Transport Scheme not delayed
Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said that SDLP MLA Mary Bradley, and many other SDLP MLA's either don't understand the workings of the Assembly or are deliberately misleading the public by claiming that free transport for the elderly was to be delayed.
Mr McCartney said:
"Mary Bradley and many of her SDLP colleagues seem to be making a habit out of issuing misleading statements concerning Sinn Féin Ministers. Her latest statement that free public transport for the over-60s has been delayed was a total misrepresentation of the facts.
"Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, has clarified reports about the introduction of free public transport travel for the over-60s.
"The proposal which is contained in the draft Programme for Government and budget will, if approved by the Executive, come into force towards the end of the year and there has been no slippage in that plan. There is no delay and it had always been the intention to bring the scheme into being towards the end of 2008.
"This includes a 12-week consultation process and the development of necessary computer software and the administration facility to deal with about 70,000 applications which are anticipated. These will be taken forward as quickly as possible but it was always clear that the introduction date would be towards the end of 2008 with applications being taken from the summertime.
"Mary Bradley and her party colleagues need to stop treating the Assembly like some kind of school playground where they have nothing better to do than attempt to score cheap political points by misleading the public." ENDS