Update 2.17pm: Transport Minister Shane Ross has ruled out any increase to fares as part of a deal to end the Luas strike.
“My focus is to protect the interests of the travelling public, and to encourage the parties to work to resolve their differences,” he said.
“Any agreement must deliver sustainable wage rates that don’t involve higher fares for the travelling public.”
Earlier: The new Transport Minister Shane Ross has said the taxpayer can not be expected to cover any costs from solving the Luas dispute.
Shane Ross has said that the fact that there is no prospect of an agreement between Luas drivers and the operator Transdev is “practically disappointing”.
Four days of strike action are planned for the coming weeks, with Transdev saying it will dock a full day's pay for a four-hour stoppage.
Speaking in the Dáil the new Minister has said, whatever happens, taxpayers should not be expected to foot the bill.
“The fact that it looks like we’ll have to endure yet more disruption over the coming period is practically disappointing,” said Minister Ross.
“When you consider that agreement was possible with the three other grades involved initially with this report. I hope that all parties and all individuals in this House share my view that the taxpayer cannot be expected to bear any financial burden in this dispute. ”