State spends €72,708 a day on transport for South Dublin children rather than providing ASD classes in their communities - Chris Andrews TD
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay South Chris Andrews has criticised the lack of ASD classes in Dublin Bay South following confirmation that a staggering €72,708 a day is spent bussing children with additional needs in South Dublin to elsewhere in the city.
Teachta Andrews said:
"Today I raised in the Dáil with the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar the complete lack of ASD classes in Dublin Bay South.
"As a result, a staggering amount of money is being spent each day to bus children with additional needs elsewhere in Dublin to secure a place in an ASD class.
"Through a Freedom of Information request, Involve Autism were able to reveal that €72,708 is being spent a day on taxis and buses for these children.
"This is an astounding increase of nearly 15% on the cost of these journeys on the previous year.
"In many cases, children are being bussed or taxied for up to an hour; far outside their community.
"Often vulnerable children are getting taxied across the city with people they do not know.
"These children should be provided with the opportunity to be educated within their community, in the same school as their peers and siblings.
"It is hard to understand how the state spends €363,540 a week on taxis and buses instead of building an appropriate amount of ASD classes in communities that so urgently need them.
"We need to be providing for these children in their community and not treating them as an afterthought.”