Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (70)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

70. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Transport his views on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26051/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The National Transport Authority, as statutory regulator will continue to engage with the industry and communicate regularly with individual SPSV operators in relation to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

In regard to the idea of putting a monetary value on Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) Limousine Licences and then paying holders this amount for surrendering their licence, the current SPSV licensing regime, which was introduced in 2000, is built upon the principle that the purpose of a licence is to indicate a person’s suitability to carry out a function and to ensure that the holder of a licence is subject to lawful conditions and restrictions. As such a licence should not have, by association, a monetary value, whether for the purposes of it becoming tradable on the open market or for any other reason such as surrender. Accordingly, there is no basis for ascribing a monetary value to licences as proposed or for extending the period of validity of individual licences.

As regards the idea of closing the industry to new entrants, the Deputy may recall that, for the past two decades the Government has not exercised quantitative controls on the issuance of SPSV licences. In the past, quantitative controls created a chronic undersupply of SPSVs and abolition of these restrictions was necessary to help address these supply issues. As passenger interests would not be served by the reintroduction of quantitative controls, there are no plans to impose a moratorium on the issuance of SPSV licences at this time. In any event, it is difficult to see how such a measure would be of benefit to existing operators at this time, given that the level of applications for new licenses has collapsed to a fraction of normal levels.