Expressway Must be Protected from Privatisation Hawks - David Cullinane TD
David Cullinane TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for public expenditure and Reform, said today that Bus Éireann must be protected from those who want to see the death of rural Ireland.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It is abundantly clear that Minister Ross wants to get rid of the last remaining public transport supports for rural communities. He has no interest in anything he can’t hang a price tag on, and he will embrace the report for the culling of Bus Éireann’s Expressway service with customary right-wing zeal.
“Rural Ireland is under extreme pressure and this government, propped up by Fianna Fail, simply does not care.
“All of its policies point towards a government that wants to squeeze the last remaining coins from our public services, be its health, housing, education or, in this case, transport.
“The social consequences of the cull in bus services that will inevitably follow the closing of Expressway routes will be borne by those very local communities that are already on a knife-edge in terms of sustainability.
“The loss in jobs will again not bother Minister Ross or Fine Gael.
“The subvention to CIE, which covers Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus, has been massively slashed since 2008, with a 23.3% cut to 2016.
“Sinn Féin in its alternative budget proposed to increase the subvention to bring it in line with comparative subventions in other EU States. Our proposed increase of €23m would have helped to expand routes, improve services, make fares more affordable and assist in resolving industrial disputes.
“Instead, the government and Fianna Fail just want to sell, sell, sell, when we need to invest and protect.
“Sinn Féin recognises the value of our rural communities, and in government would protect and grow rural public services."