Dáil Éireann - Volume 546 - 13 December, 2001

Written Answers. - Deregulation of Taxis.

191. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his plans to compensate holders of taxi licence plates who lost significantly as a result of the sudden drop in the value of their plate following deregulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32348/01]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The courts have already clarified on a number of occasions since 1992 that there can be no legal duty on the State to compensate taxi licence holders in relation to any secondary market value of licences. There are no current proposals for mitigation measures for licence holders beyond those provided for in the Finance Act, 2001, and in the scheme of taxi licence fee refunds by certain local authorities.

However, without prejudice to this position, I requested at a meeting on 25 July 2001 that SIPTU make a submission categorising cases of specific hardship which may not be fully covered by the current mitigation measures. A submission was received from SIPTU on 29 November 2001 and representatives of the Union had a meeting with officials of my Department on 4 December. I have also met with representatives from FAIR [1316] to discuss the matter. Pending further examination of the issues involved by my Department, I am not in a position to indicate the feasibility of further mitigation measures.