Fianna Fáil Group Leader on Dublin City Council, Cllr. Mary Fitzpatrick, has said it is clear that Fine Gael and Labour are intent on increasing costs for motorists by raising the clamp release fee in the city.
Fine Gael and Labour Councillors voted against a Fianna Fáil motion at the Strategic Policy Committee on Transport and Traffic today which called in the Minister for Transport not to increase the clamping release fee without first putting the matter to a vote of Councillors.
The annual report from the Parking Appeals Officer was on the agenda of today’s meeting. The report states that the clamp release fee should be increased from €80.00 to €130.00.
Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick said: “There’s no doubt now that Fine Gael and Labour Councillors are pushing for a major increase in this charge. The motion I brought before the Committee today was not accepted. Instead both parties are seeking to have the power over the charge revert from the Minister to the Councillors.
“I have no principle objection to Councillors having this power, indeed more powers need to be devolved to Councillors in the city, but in this case Fine Gael and Labour only want the power so they can massive increase the charge. Fianna Fáil is opposed to any attempt to increase the clamping release fee in Dublin.
“The €80 clamp release charge was brought in at a time when people had a lot more disposable income. When you look at the figures on enforcement they show that the charge is still a strong deterrent. Out of more than 17,000,000 paid parking events there were less than 60,000 parking enforcement events in 2011. This is a compliance rate of over 99%, which is extraordinary.
Cllr. Fitzpatrick concluded: “City businesses are already under huge strain and we do not need to do anything as politicians that discourages people from coming into the city.”