Michael Fitzmaurice TD has called for the Government to provide “a substantial increase in funding” to Local Authorities for the repair of rural Roads.
The Independent Deputy said “With the budget approaching, additional funding for the repair and maintenance of the rural road network should be at or near the top of the Government spending agenda. Since the recession it is estimated that there has been a shortfall of €300 million annually in spending on the rural roads network and now the backlog of works needed could cost up to €3 billion.
Michael Fitzmaurice added that County Councils will admit that the amount of work that have been doing on road repair and maintenance over the past eight to nine years has been cut in half due to funding cutbacks. “Some of the roads in rural areas are now in a desperate state and more money is needed urgently to carry our essential repairs in every county.
He concluded by saying “With various demands being made on the so called ‘fiscal space’ I am proposing that the Government set aside a substantial increase in funding for rural road repair in the forthcoming budget”
Diesel price harmonisation
Michael Fitzmaurice also re-iterated his opinion that “Any attempt by the Government to raise the price of diesel will be fiercely resisted especially in rural areas”
“There are suggestions in the national media again that the Government are planning to raise the price of diesel over a five year period to bring it in line with the price of petrol. While I am aware that no firm decision has been taken on this course of action, if it becomes a reality then it will be fiercely resisted by me and many others because it would spell disaster for many people in rural Ireland.”
“The haulage industry, ten of thousands of small businesses and hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who have no access to public transport, and who use diesel vehicles would be severely affected by this proposal and there is no doubt that it would cost many rural jobs.”
Michael Fitzmaurice concluded by saying “I am putting the Government on notice that if it goes ahead with this proposal that I will fight it tooth and nail”