Varadkar aims to kill public transport with fare hike – Ellis

September 25, 2012

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Dessie Ellis TD has blasted the announcement of further fare increases in Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann and Iarnróid Éireann as another in a series of critical blows to public transport.

He made his comments following the announcement that fares will go up between 2.5 and 10 per cent despite the Minister for Transport admitting earlier this year that fare increases were hurting services like Dublin Bus as people sought other options.
Deputy Ellis continued;
“Public transport has been under funded in this state for a very long time and certainly never treated as the incredibly important public service that it is.
“Busses and trains carry far more people, more efficiently and faster than private transport when given the right planning and funding. A good system of busses can create a hub of business in urban centres and improve our competitiveness. Instead the government is implementing a policy it freely admits is bad for public transport. What is bad for public transport is bad for our economy.

“Fare increases will further turn people off public transport which is seen as expensive and lacking the benefits seen in other European cities. Too many working people in urban centres or commuter towns are opting for private transport because the services of Bus Éireann, Iarnróid Éireann and Dublin Bus are being run down and made unattractive by government policy.

“We need to make public transport more affordable at the point of delivery. One measure is to further incentivise the use of prepaid bus tickets and expand the flexibility of these tickets. We also need to look at other fare models from similarly sized cities where public transport is nearly always the first option in built up areas.

“Cutting funding and forcing the dwindling passengers to foot more of the bill might look good on the department’s budget plan but it will lead to serious problems in the future and damage our ability to build lasting economic prosperity.”

ENDS

Bank of Ireland Rate Increase heaps more pain on families – Ellis

Sinn Fein TD Dessie Ellis responding to news that Bank of Ireland has hiked its interest rate by half a percentage point said the move is guaranteed to push some mortgage owners over the edge, potentially taking people who are just meeting their mortgages into the volatile mortgage distress category.

Ellis said this is another example of banks using families as an easy target.
Deputy Ellis said:
“Early this morning, people began to receive letters from Bank of Ireland, with no prior warning, telling them their rate had increased by half a percentage point. On average the increase will add an extra €27 a month to a mortgage of €100,000 over 25 years.

“People are struggling out there. They are struggling because politicians, banks and property speculators sold this state down the river and left ordinary people to pick up the tab. We have thousands of people in mortgage distress and this size of increase is the thing that will push some people over the edge, from those who are just about meeting their mortgage to those who are in mortgage distress. If the banks want to push people to the point where they can’t pay any of their mortgage, they are going the right way about it.

“This Government has sat on its hands throughout this mortgage crisis, as the Moody’s report last week pointed out. Their reactions have been ineffectual and disproportionate to the size of the crisis.

“When the banks were in crisis, this Government and Fianna Fáil found the €64 billion needed to bail them out. When citizens are in crisis, the Government holds up its hands and says it can do nothing.

“It puts the demands of international bank bondholders over the needs and rights of ordinary Irish citizens. It’s inability to make banks understand their debt to the Irish people is the Government’s biggest failure to date.

“The ECB is lending at .75% and yet Bank of Ireland told customers today that the cost of lending had gone up. We need the Government to intervene with the banks on interest hikes.”