April 10, 2013
Sinn Fein Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis has today renewed his call for proposed legislation on taxi regulation to be amended in order to prevent discrimination against former political prisoners.
Deputy Ellise made his call on the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement which in part sought to help former prisoners of the conflict to get and hold on to employment opportunities.
Deputy Ellis said;
“Many former republican and loyalist prisoners covered under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement are currently taxi drivers. Most have never had any trouble in this job and are hard workers who provide an important service.
“New legislation proposed by Minister Alan Kelly would mean these drivers would have their livelihood put at risk as they could potentially be barred or suspended from operating their taxi. These drivers are already struggling in the harsh economic climate to put food on the table and a roof over their families’ heads.
“These proposals are totally against the spirit of an international agreement this state signed up to, which was ratified by the people.
“I have raised this with Minister Kelly but he refuses to deal with the issue. He has a responsibility to legislate with the spirit of the agreement in mind. I call on him to reconsider and make the relevant amendments.”