Hikes in fares hurting public transport – Ellis‏

Sinn Féin transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis has described plans to raise public transport fares by as much as 10% as counterproductive and damaging. He made his comments following approval from the NTA for the proposed hikes.

Ellis said;
“This should be a time of opportunity for the NTA to build public transport. While there are fewer commuters, private transport is increasing costly and an affordable accessible public transport is attractive to commuters.

“Unfortunately the policy of government has been to force cuts on the system and encourage fare hikes in Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. This makes the option less attractive as it becomes less affordable for people.

“Some will see their yearly ticket now rise by a further €200 having already rose three previous times under this government.

“These regular hikes, coupled with giving private operators public service obligation contracts, are part of Fine Gaels agenda of undermining public transport.”

Sinn Féin budget alternative – giving families a break

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has today launched his party’s alternative budget. Deputy Doherty said Sinn Féin’s budget would lower the tax burden on ordinary families, protect public services and invest in jobs. He said ordinary people would be better off under Sinn Féin.

Deputy Doherty said; “The Sinn Fein budget will reduce the tax burden on ordinary families. It will protect public services and invest in jobs.

“We have identified a series of taxation and savings measures, fully costed by government departments, to reduce the deficit and pay for new spending measures.

“These include giving 1.8 million homeowners a tax rebate by abolishing the property tax, restoring the respite grant for 86,000 carers, taking 296,000 low income workers out of the USC, providing free school meals to five hundred more schools and halving the cost of school books, giving every child under five free GP care, extending the fuel allowance by three weeks, protecting the vulnerable – no more cuts to disability payments, no more cuts to Child Benefit, no more cuts to social welfare and introducing a stimulus to create thousands of jobs.

“These proposals are all fully costed by the government’s budgetary costing unit.

“The document also sets out proactive measures to assist job creation, SMEs, the agriculture sector, and people in mortgage distress. It deals with corporation tax and natural resources and also stresses our commitment to equality budgeting.

“Our adjustment is just under €2.5billion. We believe that families need to be given a break. Austerity is not working. The government needs to take its foot off the necks of the people. With this document we show how people are better off under Sinn Féin.”