Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, that a report to be published next month will propose possible changes to the motor tax regime for the haulage industry.
Deputy Breen raised the issue in the Dáil earlier today with Minister Varadkar.
“The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) wants the road tax regime to be changed to a pay-as-you-go system, similar to those in other European countries because our motor tax rates for HGVs are completely out of kilter with our European counterparts.
“For example, it costs €4,000 to tax a truck in Ireland, while in the North it only comes to £850. As a result, up to a quarter of hauliers have already moved to the North, with an estimated 4,000 registered vehicles in Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Belgium and the UK.
“To add to that, our international fleet is paying on the double when carrying out international haulage work, by paying road tax in Ireland and then paying a road-user charge while in Europe, as well as a £10 levy in the UK. There is a disparity in regimes which means it is now more financially rewarding for hauliers to base themselves elsewhere.
“I was pleased to receive an update from Minister Varadkar on the interdepartmental group set up last January to assess the implications of introducing a pay-as-you-go road tax system for HGVs. According to the Minister, a report from the group to be published at the end of next month will outline a number of options to ensure transport costs do not have a negative impact on Irish businesses.
“The Minister also reiterated the Government’s objective to support the haulage industry, which is essential for our exporting economy. A number of measures have already been introduced to support the industry, such as increasing the speed limit for trucks on motorways, changes to the weights and measures regime and the fuel rebate.
“I hope that the introduction of a pay-as-you-go motor tax system will be the next Government measure to support the haulage industry, and I look forward to reading the interdepartmental report in detail at the end of next month.”