Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Timmy Dooley has said the Government’s proposals to privatise bus routes undermine the principle of a publicly funded, publicly owned and operated public transport network.
Deputy Dooley said Fianna Fáil was opposed to the sell-off of bus routes to private operators and is calling on the Government to halt the process.
He commented: “There is a fundamental question here about whether we want a publicly owned and operated public transport system or do we want to begin dismantling it? If we are now moving sections of the existing public bus network into private hands, there are two reasons – we have given up on the principle of publicly owned public transport and we believe it is acceptable to undermine the terms and conditions of existing transport workers.
“The Government should be honest with the public about what the real agenda here is and have the courage to make their case for privatisation. For our part, Fianna Fáil opposes both these agendas and remain committed to the core principle of a publicly owned, fully integrated public transport system.
“At the very same time that Government claims to be acting on the issue of low pay and the importance of a living wage, they are actively working to undermine the prospects and security of transport workers.
“Similarly, the Government was quick to dismiss criticism of the closure of bus routes around the country but demonstrates here a very clear willingness to undermine the long term viability of the organisation tasked with delivering a comprehensive bus network in our capital.
“Fine Gael dogma is clear in its support for privatising public services. They should be honest and explain in public the orthodoxy they clearly buy into in private. The Labour Party’s support for this is more difficult to understand, demonstrating once more the extent to which they have lost any influence over Government policy.”