Financial Resolutions, 1983. - Financial Resolution No. 8: Excise Duties on Mechanically Propelled Vehicles.

I move:

(1) That in this Resolution "the Act" means the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act, 1952 (No. 24 of 1952).

(2) That section 1 (2) (b) of the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution of "forty pounds or less" for "thirty pounds or less" (inserted by the Finance Act, 1981 (No. 16 of 1981)).

(3) That the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution in paragraph 1 of Part I of the Schedule thereto of "£5", "£11", "£18", "£26", "£33", "£6", "£28", "£21" and "£7" for "£4", "£10", "£16", "£24", "£30", "£5", "£25", "£19" and "£6", respectively.

(4) That, the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution in paragraph 4 of Part I of the Schedule thereto of—

(a) "£15" for "£10" (inserted by the Finance Act, 1980 (No. 14 of 1980)), in subparagraph (a),

(b) "£15" for "£10" (inserted by the Finance Act, 1980) in subparagraph (b) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1973 (No. 19 of 1973)),

(c) "£15" for "£10" (inserted by the Finance Act, 1980) in subparagraph (c) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1973), and

(d) "£75" for "£50" in paragraph (d) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1973).

(5) That the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution in paragraph 4A (inserted by the Finance Act, 1961 (No. 23 of 1961)) of Part I of the Schedule thereto of "£10", "£20", "£30" and "£40" for "£5", "£10", "£15" and "£20", respectively.

(6) That the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution in Part I of the Schedule thereto (as amended by section 93 of the Finance Act, 1973) of the following paragraph for paragraph 5:

"5. Vehicles (including tricycles weighing more than 8 cwt. unladen) constructed or adapted for use and used for the conveyance of goods or burden of any other description in the course of trade or business (including agriculture and the performance by a local or public authority of its functions) and vehicles constructed or adapted for use and used for the conveyance of a machine, workshop, contrivance or implement by or in which goods being conveyed by such vehicles are processed or manufactured while the vehicles are in motion:

(a) being vehicles which are electrically propelled and which do not exceed 25 cwt. in weight unladen

£22

(b) being vehicles which are not such electrically propelled vehicles as aforesaid—

(i) not exceeding 12 cwt. in weight unladen

£28

(ii) exceeding 12 cwt. but not exceeding 16 cwt. in weight unladen

£34

(iii) exceeding 16 cwt. but not exceeding 1 ton in weight unladen

£41

(iv) exceeding 1 ton but not exceeding 2 tons in weight unladen

£41, plus £7 for each quarter-ton or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 1 ton

(v) exceeding 2 tons but not exceeding 3 tons in weight unladen

£69, plus £8 for each quarter-ton, or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 2 tons

(vi) exceeding 3 tons but not exceeding 4 tons in weight unladen

£101, plus £10 for each quarter-ton, or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 3 tons

(vii) exceeding 4 tons but not exceeding 5 tons in weight unladen

£141, plus £10 for each quarter-ton, or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 4 tons

(viii) exceeding 5 tons but not exceeding 6 tons in weight unladen

£181, plus £17 for each quarter-ton, or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 5 tons

(ix) exceeding 6 tons in weight unladen

£249, plus £22 for each quarter-ton, or part thereof, of weight unladen in excess of 6 tons

with an additional duty, in the case of any vehicle used for drawing a trailer, of—

(I) where the vehicle does not exceed 2 tons in weight unladen

£15

(II) where the vehicle exceeds 2 tons but does not exceed 3 tons in weight unladen

£20

(III) where the vehicle exceeds 3 tons but does not exceed 4 tons in weight unladen

£26

(IV) where the vehicle exceeds 4 tons but does not exceed 5 tons in weight unladen

£35

(V) where the vehicle exceeds 5 tons but does not exceed 6 tons in weight unladen

£46

(VI) where the vehicle exceeds 6 tons in weight unladen

£59”.

(7) That the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by—

(a) the substitution in subparagraph (c) of paragraph 6 of Part I of the Schedule thereto of "£16" and "£2" for "£8" and "£1", respectively, and

(b) the substitution in subparagraph (cc) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1961 (No. 23 of 1961)) of the said paragraph 6 of "£16" and "£2" for "£8" and "£1", respectively.

(8) That the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the insertion of the following subparagraph before subparagraph (d) of paragraph 6 of Part I of the Schedule thereto:

"(ccc) any vehicle which is used as a hearse and for no other purpose—

not exceeding 8 horse-power or electrically propelled

£26

exceeding 8 horse-power but not exceeding 9 horse-power

£29

exceeding 9 horse-power but not exceeding 10 horse-power

£33

exceeding 10 horse-power but not exceeding 11 horse-power

£39

exceeding 11 horse- power

£44”.

(9) (a) That, subject to subparagraphs (b) and (c) of this paragraph, the Act shall, as respects licences under section 1 of the Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983, be amended by the substitution in Part I of the Schedule thereto (as amended by section 71 of the Finance Act, 1982 (No. 14 of 1982)) of the following subparagraph for subparagraph (d) of paragraph 6:

"(d) other vehicles to which this paragraph applies—

not exceeding 8 horse-power

£7 for each unit or part of a unit of horse-power

exceeding 8 horse-power and not exceeding 12 horse-power

£9 for each unit or part of a unit of horse-power

exceeding 12 horse-power and not exceeding 16 horse-power

£11 for each unit or part of a unit of horse-power

exceeding 16 horse-power and not exceeding 20 horse-power

£13 for each unit or part of a unit of horse-power

exceeding 20 horse-power

£14 for each unit or part of a unit of horse-power

electrically propelled

£46”.

(b) That subparagraph (a) of this paragraph shall not have effect in relation to any vehicle—

(i) which is used as a small public service vehicle within the meaning of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 (No. 24 of 1961), and for no other purpose, or

(ii) which is fitted with a taxi-meter and is lawfully used as a street service vehicle within the meaning of the said Road Traffic Act, 1961, or for purposes incidental to such user and for no other purpose.

(c) That subparagraph (a) of this paragraph shall not have effect in relation to vehicles specified in Article 3 of the Imposition of Duties (No. 170) (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Order, 1968 (S.I. No. 68 of 1968), as amended by the Imposition of Duties (No. 216) (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Order, 1975 (S.I. No. 5 of 1975).

(10) (a) That section 94 (2) of the Finance Act, 1973, be amended—

(i) by the substitution of "£2" for "£1" in paragraph (a) (inserted by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1981 (No. 28 of 1981)),

(ii) by the substitution of "£10" for "£5" in subparagraph (aa) (inserted by the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1981)).

(iii) by the substitution of "£40" for "£20" in paragraph (c) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1981), and

(iv) by the substitution of "£20" for "£10" in paragraph (d) (inserted by the Finance Act, 1981).

(b) That subparagraph (a) of this paragraph shall have effect in respect of vehicles in relation to which licences under section 1 of the Act are taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 1983.

(11) It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1927 (No. 7 of 1927).

Financial Resolution-No. 8 will have an adverse impact because workers who need their cars to travel to and from their employment will have a lot of extra expense. This imposition will affect industry very seriously, raising the cost of transport of goods because trucks and lorries are involved. It will also affect the carriage of agricultural produce. This, along with the increase in fuel prices contained in the previous Financial Resolution which will come into force on 1 March next, will make a significant impact along with the increases imposed on motor tax and other vehicle taxes. Could the Taoiseach tell me what approximate effect this will have on the consumer price index? This is a quite savage increase which will affect essential goods. There will be a wave of increases for the haulage of goods to shops. What people may not realise is that its direct effect will be a flood of applications to the prices commission seeking increases because their costs will have increased substantially bearing in mind the impact of increased fuel cost. I should like to know from the Taoiseach what effect this will have on the consumer price index.

The effect of road tax on the consumer price index is 0.12 per cent or less than one-eighth of 1 per cent. With regard to the actual increases and the impact in the particular areas to which the Deputy has referred — he has referred to the effect on workers using their cars going to work — for cars of up to 12 horsepower, which constitutes 76 per cent of all cars and I suppose relatively few workers going to work are in the top 24 per cent in terms of size of car — the increase is no higher than £24 a year, or, in the extreme case, less than 50p a week.

With regard to commercial vehicles the increase averages about 10 per cent. The last increase in road tax on these vehicles was in the 1973 budget which increased, in the case of smaller vehicles under eight tonnes, the charges but reduced the charges applying to commercial vehicles over eight tonnes. In respect of these larger vehicles the last time there was an increase was in 1952. I cannot off-hand think of anything else in the country which has not gone up since 1952 and will not, after this budget, have risen in taxation by more than 10 per cent in a period of 30 years. In these circumstances I think the Deputy is somewhat exaggerating the problem.

I do not think——

I might remind the Deputy that I am required to put Resolutions Nos. 8 and 9 at 10.15 p.m.

Those people must pass on the 10 per cent increase, especially in the commerical line. I do not think anybody here is so foolish as to imagine that people owning these vehicles who must pay the 10 per cent are not going to pass it on because certainly they will. We cannot get away from that. That is the reality of the situation. It will revert to essential goods and will have an impact on them.

When one is endeavouring to raise revenue by taxation in the critical circumstances we face it seems not unreasonable to impose a 10 per cent increase on something which has not gone up since 1952. It is hard to think of anything more reasonable to tax than something in that category, with all due respect to the Deputy.

Might I suggest to Deputies that there will be ample time to pursue these issues on the General Resolution.

I intend to do just that. Arising more or less from what Deputy Connolly has been saying and the frivolous way it is being treated by the Taoiseach and the Government in relation to the further imposition on a user of a motor car, it is small and the Taoiseach can give the answer he did. But viewed in the context of the overall measures taken in January, those put forward today and the difficulties we all know the entire motor trade and industry face and have faced over the last 12 months, can the Taoiseach not accept that the Government — in relation to the entire motor industry — have gone too far overall in this budget including the January imposition?

I do not think so but obviously it is a matter of opinion and judgement. I would be better able to answer a question like that if I knew how the Deputies opposite intended to raise the £350 million which would be required had we not done these things.

The Taoiseach has answered my question. Therefore he accepts what I said as being true.

I do not recall doing anything of the kind.

Question put and agreed to.