Government Toll Hikes Are High Way Robbery - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has condemned the hiking of toll charges in the middle of a Cost of Living Crisis and has described them as Highway Robbery.
Speaking today, Peadar Tóibín said “It’s shocking that the government is itself increasing the cost of motorway tolls while families are being hit with the worst cost-of-living crisis in living memory. Toll hikes will be linked to the current rate of inflation, 8.6%. But the Government owns the M50 and the East link Bridges. Increasing the cost of these when commuters are already hammered with increased car prices, increased fuel prices, increased repair and servicing costs is highway robbery. These families are struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes.
Tóibín continued “Aontú research has shown that commuters have paid €1.2 billion in tolls on the M50 toll in just the last 9 years. Commuters have already more than paid for the road’s construction multiple times. Our research has shown that people are being fined as much as €25,000 for not paying the toll. This is a disgrace. It’s a tax on commuting. It’s a tax on work. What’s worse is many people from Commuter Belt counties are finding that the time stuck in traffic is increasing. People from Meath spend 3 hours a day commuting to work. Now they are seeing the cost of being stuck in traffic increasing. Its an absolute scandal”.
“The government often say that they can’t reduce the cost of living. But by increasing the tolls on their own bridges and agreeing to increases on PPP tolls, the Government are actively adding fuel to the fire of the cost-of-living crisis. From Toll hikes to higher VAT receipts on fuel compared to before the Cost of Living Crisis the Government is actively worsening the Cost-of-Living Crisis”.
“The Government is not providing the necessary public transport alternatives either. Despite all of the Green Washing talk of the government, projects such as the Navan to Dublin Rail Line are no further on. Indeed bus services from Meath are increasingly erratic. Bus users cannot be confident that they will get to work on time. Buses are not showing up and if they do they are full and unable to pick people up. If the government meant business in really helping people they would scrap the M50 tolls or at the very least reduced the cost of transport” Tóbín concluded