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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Yield of Increased CIE Fares.

Thursday, 26 May 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 222 No. 15

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4.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave asked the Minister for Transport and Power the total additional revenue expected from the proposed increase in fares by Córas Iompair Éireann.

Minister for Transport and Power (Mr. Childers): Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The Government have decided that CIE must continue to live within the annual subsidy of £2 million.

CIE are statutorily obliged to balance operating expenditure with revenue plus subsidy and they must therefore now increase rates and fares to bring in additional revenue which, after allowing for the cost of wage increases and such economies as can be effected, will enable them to keep their operating account in balance.

I am not at this stage in a position to say what the additional revenue necessary may amount to but I should point out that fares and rates have remained unchanged since early in 1964 and that as I indicated recently post-ninth round increases in earnings made some increase inevitable.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave Can the Minister say how much was the recent increase in salaries and wages?

[2425]Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The amounts have not been determined yet. There are negotiations taking place between CIE and the unions.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave I understood there was a recent award and a statement was issued to the effect that the award would cost the company £2 million.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers There were statements made on the theoretical basis of what various increases would cost but no award has been made yet under the tenth round. The Deputy may be confusing the matter with the post-ninth round increases which cost something in the region of £900,000.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave If the actual increase has not been ascertained yet, how did it come that a statement was issued by CIE indicating that the proposed increases in rates and fares would operate from July?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The reason for that was that unless the increases became fully operative at the time when CIE estimated that the negotiations would be concluded, it would be impossible for CIE to raise sufficient revenue during the year to meet their commitments. Apparently it has not been realised that there has been no final award or agreement with the unions.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully Does the Minister now say that there was not an offer of £1 per week?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers There was an offer.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange Is it true that the company envisages the laying off of 5,000 men?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers No.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange The whole country has a strong rumour that they intend to do that.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers CIE hope to avoid disemployment, wherever possible. Some people, including the Deputy, love to spread harmful rumours.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange The announcement will be kept back until after next Wednesday but everybody knows well that it is going to happen.

[2426]Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan The Minister must know well what an increase of £1 per week will cost.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers I do not propose to give an exact figure until the negotiations are concluded.

Mr. Donegan: Information on Patrick S. Donegan Zoom on Patrick S. Donegan The Minister knows the exact figure. He is being evasive.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers I am not being evasive. CIE have to know what will be their total revenue for the year, what will be the effect of the increase in rates and fares on their revenue and on the package deals they have concluded and many other matters.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave Surely the matter has advanced enough for CIE to be able to determine what the proposed increases will be?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers The matter has not been determined.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave Was an offer of a £1 a week not made?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers An offer was made.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave Then it should be possible to ascertain what that offer would cost.

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers It would, but I am not going to say what it is going to be.

Mr. Cosgrave: Information on Liam Cosgrave Zoom on Liam Cosgrave Does the Minister not think it significant that the proposed date for these increases to operate is 1st July?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers I already made a statement away back in December that they have to be increased by three per cent. I will not say more until the negotiations are concluded.

Mr. Treacy: Information on Seán Treacy Zoom on Seán Treacy Would the Minister give the House an assurance that there will be no lay-off of workers?

Mr. Childers: Information on Erskine Hamilton Childers Zoom on Erskine Hamilton Childers I could not possibly give a guarantee of that but as far as I know disemployment will be avoided as far as possible.

Mr. Coughlan: Information on Stephen Coughlan Zoom on Stephen Coughlan They are closing up the wagon shop in Limerick which cost thousands of pounds to open.


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