‘We oppose hike in car parking fines’ – Rogers

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
SDLP South Down MLA Sean Rogers has said the SDLP will vote against the proposed rise in car parking fines. Speaking to Newry Times, Rogers said: “In these times of austerity when many motorists are being hit by higher fuel costs and over-inflated motor insurance premiums, it is morally wrong to be demanding that they fund a £7.5million shortfall in the Department of Regional Development’s budget by imposing increased car parking fines. As well as being ethically wrong, it is also financially unsound to be relying on parking fees as revenue to fund a government department.” “Even if the 50per cent discount is availed on a £90 parking fine, this is far too severe and is disproportionate to the offence. With families’ and pensioners’ household budgets being squeezed due to welfare reform, the likelihood is that if this colossal fine is imposed, many people simply will not have enough money to pay it and we will end up with people, who pose no threat to our society, being brought before our courts.” He added, “This will also do little in the way of revitalizing our town centres and encouraging people, particularly those who are disabled or retired, to shop locally. As a devolved government, elected to represent the needs of people in our region, we simply cannot allow this legislation to go ahead.”
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