The trade union representing driving testers, IMPACT, has accused the Government of being obsessed with outsourcing.

IMPACT was responding to the Government's insistence that giving some of the tests to a private company was essential to reduce the backlog.

The Government appears to be standing over its policy despite a recent binding decision from the Civil Service Arbitration Board which ruled out privatisation.

The union said it offered a solution to the backlog last year but the Government has ignored its suggestions.

IMPACT says more testers could be hired on a temporary basis by the department instead of giving the work to a private company.

However, Minister for Transport Martin Cullen has said the current system will not allow for more testers to be hired and outsourcing remains the best option.

Mr Cullen said agreement must be reached within days as the 130,000 strong waiting list remained a threat to road safety.

Parking fines set to rise next Monday

Parking fines are set to rise from next Monday, and there will also be rising penalties for delays in paying parking tickets.

Under the new system, the standard parking fine will more than double from €19 to €40.

There will also be an even steeper rise in the penalty for parking in a disabled spot, which will go up from €19 to €80.

Anyone parking in a bus lane or clearway will have to pay €40.

Another change to the system is that drivers will have 28 days to pay. After this time, fines will rise by half in the next 28 days and if they still have not been paid, the driver will face an automatic court summons.

This means that local authorities will lose their power to decide when to issue a summons.

Under the new rules, a District Court summons will automatically be issued if a fine is not paid within 56 days.

The new fine structure will be announced tomorrow by the Department of Transport.