10% Privatisation Proposal 'Start Of Idealogical Crusade' - SF

The plan to privatise 10% of public bus routes has been described as a "the start of an ideological crusade to begin the privatisation of public transport services".

Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Dessie Ellis made the comment during Questions to the Minister in the Dáil, blaming the government for future industrial action by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus workers.

Deputy Ellis said: "The private tendering of 10% of routes should not be underestimated. It is a salvo, the thin end of the wedge which will cause major trouble to public transport companies under CIE in the medium term and if allowed to continue bring about their downfall.

"This can be seen very obviously in the guinea pig that is the Waterford bus services, where 100% of routes are up for private tender.

"Private operators, most likely large multinational transport companies will see this as the green light for them to take over and begin to reap a handsome profit from the states transport needs.

They know that, like in London and other cities, private operators can effectively milk the public purse for much more subsidy than what the public transport companies can, all the while making profits by cutting routes which are socially beneficial but unprofitable, lowering pay rates and doing whatever they like with fares."

Deputy Ellis also called on the public to show support for the industrial action by Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus workers who he said were fighting to save the service the public depended on.


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