To ask the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that the reform announced in the system of motor taxation has given great dissatisfaction to motorists; whether he is aware that the failure to make a reasonable reduction in the tax has caused numbers of motorists to cease using their cars; whether the facilities for motoring at present justify taxes, which in some cases are higher than those prevailing in Great Britain or the North of Ireland; and whether, with a view to preventing any further decline in the use of motor vehicles, he will consider the establishment of a small committee to prepare both a permanent scheme of taxation, based on use and an interim scheme, which will enable the motor industry to survive the present trouble; if he is aware that a large number of garage proprietors and motor repairers have dismissed their employees owing to slackness?
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - MOTOR TAXATION.
I am not aware that the recent revised basis of taxation, which has resulted in reductions in tax on some private motors most generally used, has given dissatisfaction. On the contrary, a very large number of those interested in motoring appreciate the concession made.
There is no information which would lead me to believe that there has been any recent diminution in the number of cars used.
The revised taxation in force from the 1st instant reduced the tax on several of the cars commonly used in Ireland. By the extent of the concessions which have been made, motorists in Ireland are placed in a more favourable position than those in Great Britain or in the North-Eastern Counties.
Greatly reduced motor taxation would produce a depleted Road Fund, at a time when improved roads and road maintenance are most essential.
I have been favoured from many authoritative sources with exhaustive information on the whole subject of motor taxation and the position of the motor industry. An Advisory Committee will be formed when it appears that the formation of such may be of material assistance.
If garage proprietors and motor repairers have, in some instances, dismissed their employees owing to slackness, this is attributable to causes other than the amount of the taxation.
May I ask if the Minister would kindly receive a deputation from the traders and users interested in this matter. The concession he is supposed to have given only affects one style of car, and I think, if the Minister will receive a deputation, we could put some information before him which would be useful.
I am always willing to receive a deputation if I think it will help either the people interested or myself, but in this particular case I have already heard their views most fully.