Exclusion of smaller venues from ticket touting legislation a mistake – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD, today said that the decision to exclude venues that have a capacity of less than 1,000 from new ticket touting legislation is a mistake.
Deputy Quinlivan went on to say that he found it peculiar that the government are now moving ahead with a bill that they admit, is not currently fit for purpose, and one that needs substantial amendments.
Speaking in the Dáil tonight, the Limerick City TD said;
“The glacial pace that the government have moved on this issue is ridiculous, with consumers continuing to pay the price at the hands of ticket touts in the absence of any legislation.
“I introduced a bill on this topic two years ago, however, at every opportunity Fine Gael sought to delay the progress of this Bill, simply because it had a Sinn Féin Deputy’s name on it.
“You could be forgiven for not realising the government themselves have actually been the biggest obstacle to eliminating ticket touting in the past few years.
“This duplication of bills on the same topic is not a valuable use of Dáil time, especially considering there is only 23 Dáil sitting days, including today, left before Brexit on March 29th.
“I fully appreciate the problem of ticket touting is very important and needs to be resolved as soon as possible. However, I think it would be more imperative to be debating the emergency Brexit legislation that will be needed for businesses across Ireland here this afternoon, rather than going through the motions again with another bill on ticket touting.
“I find it peculiar that the government are now moving ahead with a bill that they acknowledge is not currently fit for purpose, and one that needs substantial amendments.
“These amendments will, it seems, change the substantive nature of the bill, including tripling the capacity of venues that will be covered by this legislation, increasing from places with a capacity of 300 or more to venues that seat over 1,000.
“I can’t understand the rationale behind excluding smaller venues with capacities of less than 1,000 people from this legislation. This I believe is a mistake.
“This will exclude dozens of theaters and event centres around the country, including; the National Opera House in Waterford, which has 855 seats; the Lime Tree in Limerick, with 511 seats; and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin that has 494 seats.
“Sinn Féin is happy to facilitate this bill moving forward to committee stage, but we are very concerned about smaller venues being excluded and also about the significant number of amendments that will be required to make this bill workable. This is inevitably going to lead to further delays for consumers who want a ban on the practice of ticket touting immediately.”