November 2014        

Bus and train fares to rise again

Brendan Gallagher

There is yet more pain for ordinary people as the cost of using public transport has shot up. All fares for buses, trains and trams were increased on 1 November by as much as 28 per cent. This means that the cost of using public transport has risen by nearly 40 per cent since 2012.
      These increases are a direct result of Government policy and its cuts to public transport subventions.
      The people most hurt most by the increases are workers on low incomes and young people. It is these same workers and young people who are simultaneously being crucified by rent increases by the parasitic landlord class. As a result they have been forced to live further out from the cities, which makes their commute to work more expensive. A single bus fare in Dublin is now €3.30 for those travelling more than thirteen stops. This means a worker travelling into the city from the suburbs will be paying €6.60 for their daily commute—almost an hour’s labour on the minimum wage.
      For the unemployed the situation is even worse, to the point where searching for work will become too expensive for some.
      Yet the Government tells us there is an economic recovery. There is no doubt that Government policies have led to a revival for the bankers, landlords, business leaders, and other economic elites. However, the ordinary people of Ireland have endured six years of cuts and regressive taxes.
      Those who believed a vote for the Labour Party in the 2011 general election would shield people from the effects of austerity have been proved to be extremely naïve. As always, the Labour Party in government has been nothing more than the red tie on the blue shirt.
      The strategy of the corrupt Irish elite is to extract as much wealth as possible from ordinary people, and transfer it to themselves and their international capitalist masters. They have succeeded in doing this through massive bank bail-outs, shifting the tax burden onto ordinary people, forcing up property prices and rents, driving down wages, and making massive cuts to public services.
      The huge increases in public transport fares over the last three years are just a single part of this strategy of transferring wealth upwards. Workers and young people need to get organised to resist the Irish establishment and their banker bosses, who wish to erode our standard of living so that they can increase theirs.
      Not until this government has been booted out, and replaced with a government that serves the ordinary people, i.e. a socialist government, will Ireland be able to get the public transport service that its people deserve.

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