Monday 23 October 2017

CIE sought 2011 figures delay

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

CIE will reveal the true state of its finances next month when it publishes its accounts.

The State transport company sought to postpone publishing its 2011 figures until early next year but the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar refused.

A CIE spokesman said this weekend its accounts will now be published in November.

The minister warned the Dail last week that the public transport system could collapse next year unless progress is made in cost reductions.

Mr Varadkar revealed that he also refused to release a cent of €36m in additional state funds which CIE sought during the summer because the company has not come up with a robust business plan.

CIE said it needed the money to keep its companies -- Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann -- operational until the end of the year. It had sought an extension on publishing its accounts, to give it extra time to ensure long-term funding was in place.

A spokesperson for the minister said this weekend: "CIE has not submitted its accounts for 2011 to the minister for approval. The company had applied for an extension until the end of January but the minister made it clear he would not be favourably disposed to an extension of that duration. He has discussed the matter with the chairperson and indicated that he would like the accounts to be furnished as soon as possible."

Mr Varadkar gave a stark assessment of CIE's performance in the Dail last week. He told deputies: "At the time of the announcement it appeared that these were advanced but unfortunately, despite a lot of hard work and best efforts, insufficient progress has been made to date.

"The €36m is still available and to the extent that I can, I will not allow public transport to collapse. The money is available but it will only get the companies to the end of the year. I will not have enough money next year and €36m will not solve the problems of the company next year."

CIE has already cut services in rural and urban areas to try to balance its books.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News