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Taxi laws must make regulator accountable and fair - Ellis

25 September, 2013 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has criticised Minister Alan Kelly for dismissing opposition amendments which seek to make the Taxi Advisory Committee which will regulate the industry more accountable. He made his comments following a meeting of the Oireachtas Select Sub Committee on Transport which debated amendments to new taxi legislation.

Deputy Ellis;
"I had hoped that new legislation would give the opportunity to correct many of the problems with the industry but the Minister has shown no interest in anyone opinion other than his own. He has rejected all of the amendments which would have enhanced accountability and given more of a voice for the people working in the industry.

“I submitted amendments which would have made it a requirement that the Advisory Chair would meet with the Oireachtas Transport Committee. This would mean policy would be regularly reviewed and explored avoiding the need for large one off reviews as was required for this new Bill. This was rejected without any real argument by the Minister.

“Other amendments, such as putting in place more positions on the Advisory Committee for representatives of ordinary taxi drivers, was dismissed in a similar manner. Ordinary drivers are suffering badly in this economy and their voices are an essential ingredient in what is needed to form a sustainable and fit for purpose taxi industry.

“The Minister has once again decided to continue down the path set out by Minister Varadkar in other legislation to totally disregard the his government’s responsibility to uphold and build on the principals of the Good Friday Agreement by discrimination against former political prisoners.

“This is not the way government should form legislation, This Bill has been delayed, it has been messily put together and now it seems it will be rammed through without any consideration for new ideas or opinions. This is not the kind of new governing the people voted for."

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