Sunday, February 3, 2013

New driver licence monopoly will cost jobs - O' Súilleabháin

A spokesperson for North Wexford Sinn Féin has said that there are serious questions that need to be answered regarding the roll out of a new type of licence for Irish drivers.  Fionntán O' Súilleabháin said that the decision to hand the exclusive rights to the development of these new license to a private firm operating under the RSA is wrong, flies in the face of regulations on competitiveness and could lead to job losses.

Mr O' Súilleabháin said;

"No one would argue against the introduction of new licenses that will increase efficiency and professionalise out licensing system but questions must be answered regarding the government's decision to effectively allow a private company to establish a monopoly on the development of these new passport like licenses.  The roll out of the new licenses began last weekend.  A Dublin based company called Credit Card Systems has to date been given the entire contract for these new licenses."

"The roll out of new drivers licenses for full and learner drivers comes under a new European initiative to build a mutually recognisable form of licence across all 27 EU member states.  It means that when you renew your license you will receive a new passport like edition, at twice the cost of the old licenses.  You will no longer be able to have your passport pictures for the license taken locally.  Instead this will be done through an agent operating under the RSA."

"Initially it was believed that the RSA would use the motor tax offices of local councils to take these new photographs.  Instead Credit Card Systems, a private company, has been given the monopoly.  No questions have been answered as to why a private company was given this job or to what criteria the tendering process was examined, if there was any tendering at all."

"The Irish Pharmacy Union has recently attacked the way these new licenses are being  rolled out correctly stating that this will mean job losses in their industry.  Around 4000 people are currently employed in the provision of passport pictures within the pharmacy and photography sector."

"This issue has been swept under the carpet and the very relevant issues raised have not been answered.  I would call upon local representatives of Fine Gael and Labour to explain to the people of Gorey why they are now paying double for a license so a private company in Dublin can process their application photos.  I would call upon the local Fine Gael and Labour organisation to explain why a private company has been given this monopoly at the cost of local jobs."

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