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Government must resist privatisation of rail services

30 July, 2015

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government to resist the privatisation of rail and to protect services, decent jobs and the communities that depend on them. The Meath West TD said that privatisation currently being pushed by the European Commission has been an utter failure across the world and is completely inappropriate for Ireland's need and existing rail network.

Deputy Tóibín continued;

"The European Commission, an undemocratic and unaccountable body, is trying to push privatisation of public services across the EU and sees Ireland as a soft touch. Our government have already begun the process of privatising public bus services and have undermined Irish rail services with cuts of over 20% to its funding. We must resist any attempts to further the privatisation agenda on our public transport networks.

“The European Commission calls it liberalisation but really it is allowing massive multinational rail companies to underbid public service companies for already limited services. This process has been a disaster in the UK and renationalisation of the rails has become a major campaign there. In YouGov polls, 60% of people supported renationalisation of British Rail in 2014, after experiencing 20 years of disastrous privatised services. Only 20% remained opposed to renationalisation. Germany and France maintain a publicly owned rail service as do many other European nations. 

“Under a privatised system, CEO's of multinational rail companies would only be focused on pay outs for their shareholders and their end of year bonus. The needs of communities and Irish society and economic growth would be very much secondary to maximising profit.

“We must protect the public rail service we have and build on it providing better access, more routes and faster, greener travel for people across the country. Privatisation undermines these aims and must be opposed." 

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