Government must reverse privatisation plan for bus services - Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD today raised the issue of the planned privatisation of bus routes with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. He said the plans would fatally undermine Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus resulting in hardship for ordinary citizens travelling to and from work, students and elderly citizens and drive down of wages, terms and condition for bus workers.
Deputy Adams said:
“There are two ways to govern. One way is to build a citizen-centred, rights-based society with equality and a right to public services. The other is where it is everyone for themselves, where there is little sense of social solidarity, citizens’ rights or social protections. That is the vision which Fine Gael and shamefully now the Labour Party embraces.
“Hardly a month goes by without further evidence of your Government’s destruction of public services and your policy of privatisation, whether it’s in the area of health, water services, or now moves to privatise our public transport system. The Government’s plan to privatise bus routes in this State is set to fatally undermine Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus.
“In order to ensure an economic recovery which leaves no family and no part of our island behind, investment in public transport is crucial.
“Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus have struggled to maintain vital services and have increased passenger numbers and revenue, despite Government cuts.
“The Government now proposes to force these public companies to compete with private operators. Buses will then be run as a means of generating profits for shareholders and not as a public service.
“Those who suffer will be ordinary citizens travelling to and from work, students and elderly citizens. Privatisation will also, inevitably, witness a driving down of wages, terms and condition for bus workers.
“The Government has consistently made living in rural Ireland more difficult with cuts to rural transport programmes, higher costs for private car users and the closure of Garda stations and local post offices.
“Rural communities across this State will be very negatively affected by a destructive and ideologically-driven approach to dismantling public transport services.
“Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus are essential to our public transport network. The Government intends to sell them off, including garages, bus stations and other public assets. For example, it’s going to privatise 100% of bus routes in Waterford City. How long will it be before it does the same in Dublin? That clearly is the objective.
“The private model will not work to serve the interests of communities. Investing in transport for Ireland, North and South, is fundamental to the future of the island economy. The Government must now reverse its decision to privatise public transport routes and to undermine successful public transport companies.”