Ní Riada and O'Brien meet with Cork Taxi Council
Sinn Féin representatives Liadh Ní Riada MEP and Jonathan O'Brien TD have said that taxi drivers in Cork, and throughout the state, have been crucified by government policy.
They made the comments following a meeting with the Cork Taxi Council.
Liadh Ni Riada MEP said;
"The haphazard and rushed manner in which the government went about reforming the taxi industry has created a huge mess. Drivers who bought taxi licences after the year 2000 did so with the option of selling or transferring the licence when they retire .
“They made a substantial investment of between €18,000 and €20,000 trying to provide a reasonable income for their families. Now, because of legislative changes, they cannot sell or transfer licence unless willed after the death of the owner.
"The other issue is the government's strategy of issuing taxi licences without setting quotas for each City and County. This has had far reaching consequences. Licences which were issued in one area were being leased in other cities and counties causing overcapacity in those areas."
Deputy Jonathan O'Brien added;
"Cork City taxi drivers are to be commended for working together. We must also remember that this is the only service in which the life span and road-worthiness of the vehicle is assessed on age and not on mileage. We need legislation to allow taxis to operate like any other business, where they can sell or transfer the licence. The current situation is causing huge pressure and it has a detrimental social and economic impact. Drivers have to reapply for the licence every year. It used to be every five years and so this now means that you may have to buy a new car to be eligible for licence renewal."
Liadh Ní Riada will be raising the matter in the European Parliament while Deputy Jonathan O'Brien has committed to putting the issue on the agenda in the Dáil.