Wednesday, 15 June 2005
Paudge Connolly (Cavan-Monaghan, Independent)
Does the Minister think it is right that this issue is so grave that a town council would invite all public representatives from the Cavan-Monaghan area to come to a meeting to discuss it? Does he agree that this is hitting people most who can ill afford it? If I am in Northern Ireland but on my way home to the Republic, the strong signal will follow me home and I cannot take a call without incurring international roaming charges. Does the Minister think that is right? There is no real will to address this. We set up a high powered group which has done little about it as the charges are still in place. The report suggests charging €7.50 per month plus VAT to take calls in Northern Ireland, but not to make calls.
This is a major issue. Residents on the Border are being hit harder than most by the regulation. It is not too bad for someone from the South on a one day visit, but residents in the Border areas live with this daily, including many who can least afford it. Will the Minister address this as a matter of urgency?