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Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: I just have two things to say before I finish and after the Chair has spoken, if that is all right.

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: My problem with this is that it is a clear breach of the legislation. I appreciate that the Comptroller and Auditor General does not want to go on record and is not a lawyer. I do not need to be a lawyer to know it is a breach of the law. If a punter breaks the law, we throw the book at him or her. When the system breaks the law, we circle the wagons, repurpose and fudge it in language....

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: I think we should bring in NORA because I would love to hear its view on the legal position and the invidious position it is being put in by Government policy.

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: This week the budget explanatory documentation indicated that the NTA was to receive additional moneys for current expenditure. We do not know how much that is yet. Perhaps the representatives here can enlighten us. It specifically said it was for staff. What staff or roles are involved? Are they additional staff, is it for filling new or old roles? Is it to fill a current expertise deficit?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: What added value will that give to the NTA?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: It will replace the need to procure certain expertise, then, rather than getting it on a consultancy basis.

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: One of the NTA's roles is to enforce EU passenger rights in rail, maritime, bus and coach transport. It relates to capacity, seating and all that kind of thing on bus and rail. Is that something the NTA is to keep an eye on?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: Would discriminatory pricing or an allegation of discriminatory pricing fall in there?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: Has the NTA a role in pricing ticketing and so on?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: What about Bus Éireann's route 40 from Dungarvan in County Waterford to Cork city?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: Bus Éireann has been questioned on the matter that I am raising and it indicates that it is the NTA's baby. I will tell the story and Ms Graham can react. Dungarvan to Cork city is route 40. It is a 75 km distance. Youghal is around the middle of it. Dungarvan to Youghal is about 27 km and then there is a further 48 km into Cork city. If I alight the bus at Dungarvan to go to work...

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: The National Transport Authority has nothing to do with that.

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: In fleecing the Youghal commuter to Cork, this is exclusively Bus Éireann's baby.

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: If it were not a commercial service, would the authority have a view on the practice of charging the person going half the journey twice the price of the person going the full journey?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: On the basis that this is a commercial service and the NTA has no role, to Ms Graham's knowledge does anybody have a role in taking Bus Éireann aside to tell it to make it right because it is discriminatory?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: To whom would they complain?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: Bus Éireann may say, "Thanks for your complaint, but that is what it is anyway."

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: We are funding Bus Éireann apart from its ticket charges. Have we no leverage to let it know that this is not on?

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: However, the company is. Let us pull away the company, Bus Éireann-----

Public Accounts Committee: 2018 Financial Statements of the National Transport Authority (10 Oct 2019)

Marc MacSharry: So no one has any role here. This is a commercial mandate of Bus Éireann, and if it can get away with fleecing the people of Youghal, then more power to it. Is that our view?

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