04 June 2009

Dublin Taxi Drivers protest over Licence Fee

Taxi drivers in Dublin withdrew their services this morning in protest at a decision by the Taxi Regulator Kathleen Doyle (left) to increase the licence fee.

The cost to obtain an Irish taxi driver's badge has recently been raised from previously € 3 to € 250 (!!!), at short notice, without consultation and for no good reason.

Despite several public protests last month (see also my entry of May 9th), there has been no reaction and no sign of willingness to negotiate the matter from the utterly useless Commission for Taxi Regulation, which employs 23 people full-time for nothing else but to harass Ireland's taxi drivers and to make their lives more difficult and unpleasant.

So the four main taxi drivers unions told their members in the capital not to work today - the day before the European and local government elections - between 7am and 11am. This is the latest in a long line of strikes and protests Irish taxi drivers have staged in recent months to highlight their desperate situation. (for more information and details see my entries of March 5th, April 1st & 28th and May 9th)

The union leaders will later today hand in a letter at the Department of Transport. It is addressed to Noel Dempsey (right), our (most ignorant and incompetent) Minister for Transport, and will call for the resignation of taxi regulator Kathleen Doyle.

But as things are with Fianna Fáil ministers and their pet minions and cronies, I would think that Kathleen Doyle's job is quite safe.

Noel Dempsey has absolutely no understanding of transport, no interest in public transport, and most certainly no compassion for struggling taxi drivers.
I doubt that he will even read the letter addressed to him by the drivers' unions. For such menial tasks he has other minions, who will then write a meaningless three-line letter in reply.
Such is government in Ireland, and - sadly - in most other countries as well.

The Emerald Islander

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