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Crowe - Airports Bill riddled with flaws

7 July, 2004


Speaking during the State Airports Bill 2004 Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Seán Crowe TD said the Bill was "riddled with flaws" and that the Ministers plans to privatise public transport "should be resisted at every turn".

Deputy Crowe said, "Sinn Féin has already made its position clear regarding this Bill, through earlier interventions in the chambers and at Committee stage. We are totally against this legislation. The Minister's plans to privatise public transport should be resisted at every turn, not only in the interests of securing high standards in the Irish public transport system, but also in the interests of state-employed workers. The record of this Government in relation to transport has been wasteful and short-sighted, and as demonstrated through the Bill, even contradictory.

"For ideological reasons and without proper planning, the Minister for Transport proposes breaking up a national aviation service, privatising CIE and Aer Lingus and with tunnel vision he is set on ignoring the needs of people in favour of the interests of the private sector. Evidence from other countries indicates that privatisation does not resolve the problems surrounding public transport and the indications are that it will all come round full circle again with problems to do with the transfer of staff, remuneration issues and ongoing conflict within the transport field.

"Aer Rianta is perhaps the most glaring example of the ideological short-sightedness driving Government policy towards the public sector. By any standards Aer Rianta is a successful, profitable and productive company with prospects that have been nipped in the bud by this Government in the same way as Aer Lingus and CIE stand to be undermined at a time when all these companies started to show signs of coming round." ENDS

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