09 May 2009

Dublin Taxi Drivers protest again today

The independent action group Taxi Drivers for Change is staging another protest in Dublin today, which will continue throughout this afternoon. At present more than 100 taxi drivers are taking part, but it is expected that more will join the demonstration later.

The group's organisers are accusing the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey (Fianna Fáil), and the completely useless 'Taxi Regulator' Kathleen Doyle (photo below left) of "not listening to their concerns".

Today's protest is also specifically directed against the increase of the taxi license renewal fee.
Last week the statutory renewal fee for a five-year 'Public Service Vehicle License' was suddenly raised by the Commission for Taxi Regulation from € 3 to € 250!
This is a one-step increase of € 247 or - in percentage points - of a staggering 8233% (!!!) and comes at a time when the country is in a deep recession, hundreds of thousands are losing their jobs and money is tight everywhere. It beggars belief how any public body or organisation could be so immensely greedy, cruel and insensible, especially at a time like this.

A spokesperson for Kathleen Doyle said the new fee was "required to cover the processing and renewal of applications".
I suspect the real reason is that the extra money is needed to finance the salary of Doyle's new personal assistant, a position created only recently and now the 23rd employee of the Commission for Taxi Regulation. (In contrast to Ireland, with 4 million people, Germany with a population of 83 million does not have a 'taxi regulator' and anything that needs to be changed in regard to the rules for taxis is handled very efficiently by two civil servants in the Ministry for Transport.)

The taxi drivers say that the massive increase is unsustainable and was imposed on them with no warning or consultation.

Not since the Middle Ages have we seen such arrogance of a public body, which is totally out of touch with the people and in particular with the industry it is supposed to regulate.

Traffic disruptions and delays in some parts of the capital city are expected as a side-effect of the protest. But the people of Dublin are in general very supportive of the taxi drivers' long-running campaign, which has so far organised more than a dozen public protest demonstrations in the capital, as well as a number of smaller protests in other Irish cities, such as Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Cork.

The Emerald Islander

P.S. It is quite an interesting foot note to the ongoing taxi dispute that at a time when jobs are lost and wages are cut almost everywhere in the private sector, the 22 employees of the Commission for Taxi Regulation have received a pay rise. And not enough with that, they even created a new position very recently.
Commissioner Kathleen Doyle, apparently "over-worked and dealing with important issues", now employs a PA (Personal Assistant). The well-paid plum job - surprise, surprise - went to another woman, Sonia McIntyre, an acquaintance of Kathleen.

Nepotism and cosy arrangements are still common practice in Dublin under our government of morons. And those inside the Fianna Fáil lifeboats continue to have safe jobs, very high salaries and a splendid luxurious lifestyle. It is only the rest of us - the vast majority of the Irish people - who are thrown into shark-infested waters, without a wet suit, life belt or swimming lesson...


Anonymous said...

wethanks to the morons ie useless unions ntdu siptu ect all they ever wanted was your money like the goverment at present taxi men and women are easy targets so i say to all u taxi men ad women enough is enough lets get behind taxi drivers for change and save your livihood and take to the streets of dublin till they the goverment listen ps 5th june is close we can pull this goverment down

Anonymous said...

our taxi regulator seems to listen to herself she should come in to the real world and take the minister for transport and se the state of the taxi industry out of there cosy offices and get on to streets of dublin and our fellow taxi drivers around ireland were we have illegal drivers with no legal paperwork at all i suppose the will wait till a member of the public killed with these unlicened drivers

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