Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

Translink must not use public money like petty cash

Published 15/05/2015

Normally, the issue tackled by the editorial comment in the Belfast Telegraph makes people sit up and pay attention - none more so than when it focused on a ministerial answer to my question on Translink staff taxi fares (DebateNI, May 12).

This particular penetrative comment line must have caught the mood of a good many in respect of Translink: "It may be time to consider removing Translink's privileged monopoly status and introducing the company to the rigours of the market economy."

Translink is a private company financed by public money. Its trains, buses, rail tracks, bus lanes and buildings are bought for the company by public money.

A company which raises fares without consultation and cuts services to suit itself, a company under contract to break even annually. A business, when it hits a loss-making position, that is bailed out with public money.

Recently it faced a loss of £9m. Later, the Department for Regional Development ploughed in a concession fare subsidy release of how much? Yes, you guessed right: £9m. This is a company about which its chief executive recently said: "Translink's future is under threat." I say this is a company out of departmental control.

I applaud your editorial comment for drawing attention to Translink's cavalier attitude in using public money to pay for its staff taxi fares. However, this is just one illustration in a litany of foolhardy spending.

Propping-up a loss-making business is one thing - allowing it to treat public money as petty cash is intolerable.

DAVID McNARRY MLA

Ukip leader in Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph