Shane Ross

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Archive for December, 2007

ESRI Figures Cast Doubt On Budget Figures

The ESRI released a report on the state of the economy last week. The overall figures that were produced are in marked contrast to the forecast produced by the Government only two weeks ago. In every single case they are more pessimistic than the figures produced by the Government. I do not refer to the growth rate alone but also to employment, housing and many other figures which are benchmarked figures for the economy. This is what I told the Seanad last week:

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She Hasn’t Gone Away You Know!

EBS chairman Mark Moran and his house-trained hit squad thought they had quelled the rebellion of EBS members. The well-heeled EBS board, who all profess to love mutuality, have been quietly plotting a peaceful AGM in April.
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Wounded by the 2006 outing – an awkward little exercise in democracy – they have been cooking up a concoction. No effort has been spared to prevent another debacle like last year’s bruising bash in the Burlington.

There are two words Mark and his wealthy cronies dread: the two words are ‘Ethna’ and ‘Tinney’.

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Seanad Votes 24 To 19 Against Universal Broadband Provision

Last week, I put down the following motion for debate in the Seanad: “That Seanad Éireann deplores the failure of the Government to ensure broadband access in every home and business in Ireland.”

During a heated 2 hour debate, addressed by 2 Ministers, I told the House that I am staggered by the lack of interest, alarm and urgency of Members when confronting the problem of broadband provision. It is an absolutely essential part of the infrastructure of a modern state, and it is disgraceful that we remain at the wrong end of every league table in terms of broadband penetration.

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Government To Maintain Motorist’s Misery On M50

It seems that from next August, tolls on the M50′s Westlink will be raised from €1.90 to €3 for occasional users – a whopping 60% increase! I had thought that the battle had been won and that the State had bought out NTR for €600 million, €50 million per year until 2020. I thought that this had been done to let traffic flow freely and to relieve the misery of the motorist on the M50.

However, what has happened is that the government has bought out NTR’s interest so that the motorist, having been screwed by one monopoly, will now be screwed by the State in an even more crucial and acute way. The government should instead be concentrating on providing public transport alternatives to motorists. Here’s what I told the Seanad:

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