CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - TAXES ON MOTOR CARS.

To ask the Minister for Finance how it is expected that taxes on motor cars are to be paid, in view of the fact that their earning powers for the past three years were practically nil, owing to bad roads and the disturbed conditions of the country; further, to ask the Minister for Finance why private owners should be expected to pay such a tax as 10s. per week for the use of a car, and whether he is aware that this is retarding the development of the country by the non-use of motors, both private and hackney, and also increasing the ranks of the unemployed by compelling owners of motor cars to dispense with drivers and mechanics, and even, in fact, to close down their garages.

replying for the Minister for Finance: There is no option but to continue the collection of motor tax, as of other taxes, on the present basis, unless and until alterations of the law are made by this Dáil on any points where that course may be thought proper. Unless the taxes are duly collected the public services cannot be maintained, and, in particular, the collection of motor tax is essential for maintaining the Road Fund, out of which assistance is given to local authorities for the upkeep of roads. The case where a motor vehicle, for any reason, cannot be kept in use for the whole of any year may be met to some extent by the provision which enables a licence to be taken out in respect of portion of the year.