Updated: 20/01/17 : 12:29:28
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Martin accuses Ross 0f Pontius Pilate action in bus dispute

The Leader of Fianna Fáil is accusing the Transport Minister of acting like Pontius Pilate

Shane Ross is facing criticism for his handling of the dispute at Bus Éireann - after management announced a series of cutbacks earlier this week.

Workers are threatening to strike over the changes.

Micheál Martin says it's time for Minister Ross to step up to the plate: "Bus Éireann goes to the heart of public policy, particularly in relation to the regions and to rural Ireland but he needs to step up to the mark and get a handle on this issue.

"I think he is adopting a Pontius Pilate, hands off approach, which isn’t in our view adequate and satisfactory."

Meanwhile a former Transport Minister has warned Minister Ross not to wave his cheque book at the Bus Éireann dispute.

Noel Dempsey says a solution needs to be found urgently, but claims the Government is not responsible for the day-to-day running of the firm.

Workers at Bus Eireann have hit out at cuts to their terms and conditions as part of a cost saving plan.

Dempsey says State intervention is not the way forward:"If Shane Ross or the Department or the Government move in to start waving a cheque book about there will be no real changes within Bus Eireann, probably no real changes that are necessary in work practices.

"You end up with a situation, three, four, five years from now, where you will be back at square one."