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ComReg decision on Eircom line rental proves failure of privatisation policy - Morgan

27 July, 2007


Sinn Féin Arthur Morgan TD has today welcomed the Commission for Communication Regulation’s (ComReg) decision to put a one-year freeze on the price that Eircom can charge for its line rental, but warned that this evidenced privatisation of public utility companies does not always deliver adequate services nor value for money for citizens.

Deputy Morgan said:

“Today’s intervention by ComReg is an excellent example of how government can and should regulate for the affordable provision of non-state owned public services and utilities. It also starkly illustrates that despite popular economic myth, competition does not always deliver value for money or adequate public services.

“Ireland currently has the highest line rental charges in Europe leaving us 60% more expensive in this area than the average cost across all EU states. The active dismantling of the public enterprise sector as exampled by Eircom has impeded the economy overall as exampled in the rollout of broadband which has been significantly impeded.

“As government gears up for the break-up of the ESB and EirGrid, discusses privatising the postal services and seeks private operators to provide public transport services in Dublin a step back needs to be taken to properly access their political direction.

“Increased government investment in public utilities and public services rather than privatisation is an investment in all our futures that can and will pay dividends both from an economic and social perspective. Where government has already forged ahead with privatisation regulation should be more readily applied.” CRÍOCH

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