I am not sure minister Eamon Ryan is a lover of public transport, be it free or otherwise. His latest comments that making public transport free would increase unnecessary journeys misses the point.
While research by EY found that a free-fare policy would attract more use by people who would otherwise be prepared to walk or cycle, most people use public transport as a necessity and are unlikely to do so to waste time hopping on and off for fun if free – the novelty would soon wear off.
Anything that switches the mindset from the car should be welcome, not discouraged.
While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate a free-for-all, why not give car owners free public transport at certain times?
The minister’s plan to cut car use via congestion charges and a massive hike in parking charges is all stick and no carrot.
Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
What constitutes the faceless, unelected grouping of 99, aka the Citizens’ Assembly?
When the triumvirate of coalition parties formed a government, the assumption was they might even govern.
Is it constitutionally correct or acceptable that they now outsource constitutional changes to this unelected, selectively biased quango with its own hidden agenda?
Is it within reason to allow for “An Alternative Citizens’ Assembly” whose names could be published and whose ideals would be transparent? I won’t hold my breath on that suggestion.
Jim O’Regan, Grenagh, Co Cork
Twenty years ago, when I bought my house, some suggested I should also buy a couple of rental properties for my pension.
Bragging about their own rock-solid investments, they shook their heads in bewilderment when I declined a sure thing. Twenty years later, it was one of the best decisions of my life.
In the current hostile climate, you couldn’t pay me enough to be a landlord. Imagine the fear of having just one bad tenant who could destroy your life’s savings. The stress alone is enough to shorten one’s life.
In those 20 years, landlords have seen negative equity, loss of tax reliefs, rising interest rates and costs, limits on rent increases, an uncaring Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and the eviction ban among the many disincentives to providing a roof over people’s heads.
And all this by successive governments dominated by centre-right, pro-market political parties. Imagine what left-wing governments would have done?
Bad enough as it is to be a landlord under the current Government, it will not get any better.
Any tax package provided can and will be easily reversed by the next hard-left government, who will delight in screwing landlords as much as possible.
The ending of the eviction ban is the very last chance landlords will have of exiting the rental market, as under the next hard-left government, evictions and rent increases will be permanently banned.
So, my advice to all landlords is that if you don’t have for-sale signs outside your rental properties on April 1, the April Fool is you.
Jason Fitzharris, Swords, Co Dublin
Why not change the awful word “landlord” as it gives the impression they are above the tenant, which is not the case nowadays. Any suggestions from your readers?
Patricia Greene, address with the editor
We seriously need to stop giving the Burkes air time. They are behaving in an unbelievable manner. People’s beliefs should not give them an exemption from behaviours.
I believe the disrespect they are showing is appalling.
Claire Mulrooney, Address with the editor
Reading Heidi Ellert-McDermott’s piece (‘Tips for the perfect wedding speech’, Irish Independent, March 9) brought to mind a story about a groom.
He was unwilling to make a speech at his wedding, but after coaxing, he relented.
Standing up and still shaking, he placed his hand on his bride’s shoulder, and began: “Ladies and gentlemen, this has been forced upon me.”
Leo Gormley, Dundalk, Co Louth