Minister must stop subsidy of toll operators – Ellis
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned the government for subsidising private toll operators who are making millions off the state due to low traffic numbers on motorways. Responding to the news that the operators of the M3 toll who are subsidised by the state made a profit of 19 million euro in its first 7 months, he said that these companies were holding Irish commuters and the public purse to ransom.
“The Minister and his government need to recognise that it cannot afford to pay private companies who are not happy with their profits in the current economic climate.
“With nearly half a million people out of work it stands to reason that traffic on this commuter belt will be down, the companies should accept this is a fact of doing business and the state should stand up for the public who are paying twice through their taxes and tolls.
“The government must refuse to pay these subsidies which should not have been agreed to in the first place. I have raised this in the Dáil and the Minister said he would not allow an agreement like this to happen again, this is not good enough.
“Between October and December 2010 a sum of 547,000 euro was paid to the company operating the M3 while they were making large profits off its tolls already.
“The toll operators across the state have taken enough money from the people who can no longer be held to ransom in this way as they try to get to work.
“This once again shows the folly of this and the previous government’s dedication to the Public Private Partnership model which has resulted in large profits for big companies, while the state pays over the odds and projects runs far overdue.” ENDS