Financial Resolution No. 5: Excise

(1) THAT in this Resolution –
"Act of 1952" means the Finance (Excise Duties)(Vehicles) Act 1952 (No. 24 of 1952);
"Act of 1992" means the Finance (No. 2) Act 1992 (No. 28 of 1992);
"Act of 2012" means the Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Act 2012 (No. 10 of 2012).
(2) THAT as respects licences under section 1 of the Act of 1952 taken out for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013, the Schedule (as amended by section 3 of, and the Schedule to, the Act of 2012) to the Act of 1952 be amended by substituting the following for Part I of that Schedule:
Financial Resolution No. 3 is intended to do two things, namely, provide for the amendment of section 132(3) of the Finance Act 1992 to provide for the introduction, from 1 January 2013, of revised rates of vehicle registration tax, VRT, and amend section 132(3)(d)(ii) of the Finance Act 1992 to provide for the amendment of the definition of N1 vehicles eligible for inclusion in VRT category C.
The proposed changes announced by the Minister today are for increases across most categories of vehicle ranging from 0% to 4%. The Minister is also taking the opportunity, following the consultation process undertaken earlier in the year, to restructure some of the bands. As indicated in last year’s budget speech, the process was to review bands and rates structures in line with technological advances in motor vehicles. In essence, the existing system, which has contributed to the large shift to smaller and cleaner low emission cars, has been maintained. The consequence of this shift, however, is that there has been a corresponding fall-off in revenue from VRT. It is intended that this revision to the structure will address this matter. It is important to note that the revised structure retains a positive incentive to purchase low CO2 cars.
It is anticipated that the proposed increases will raise some €50 million for the Exchequer over a full year. This is an immediate and necessary measure towards deficit reduction. The inclusion of the amendment of section 132(3)(d)(ii) is a technical amendment to ensure the correct classification of certain light commercial vehicles for VRT purposes.
Financial Resolution No. 4 provides for a reduction in the farmers' VAT flat rate addition for unregistered farmers from 5.2% to 4.8% with effect from 1 January 2013. The flat rate scheme is a simplified and practical method of applying value added tax to farming. It compensates unregistered farmers on an overall basis for the VAT charged to them on their purchases of goods and services. The scheme in general reduces administrative burdens, as it provides that small farmers can remain outside the normal VAT system, thereby avoiding the obligations in respect of registration, record keeping and returns.
The flat rate scheme is governed by European Union VAT law and is reviewed annually by reference to macroeconomic data for the preceding three years on agricultural production and agricultural inputs and the deductible VAT content of such inputs. The reduction in the flat rate addition to 4.8% for 2013 is a result of calculations on the basis of macroeconomic data received from the Central Statistics Office for 2010, 2011 and 2012. The new 4.8% rate for 2013 continues to achieve full compensation under the scheme.
Financial Resolution No. 5 provides for the amendment of the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act 1952 and Finance (No. 2) Act 1992 in relation to rates of motor tax and fees for trade licence plates. It is proposed to raise motor tax rates across all vehicle categories. The proposal is to apply an increase of 7.5% for most vehicle categories with flat rate increases of between €10 and €92 for vehicles taxed on the basis of CO2, with the level of increases graduating upwards from the most environmentally efficient A bands to the least environmentally friendly G band. The average increase for vehicles taxed on the basis of CO2 is 19.8%. Trade plate licences will increase by 7.5%.

The new rates will apply to motor tax discs and trade licences taken out from tonight for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013.

The House will note that I have just referred to A bands in the plural. Deputies will be aware that, in budget 2012, my colleague, the Minister for Finance, announced a review of the carbon banding applying to vehicle registration tax, VRT, and motor tax with a view to having a revised taxation structure in place for this budget. The Government's twin priorities have been to ensure the continuation of the positive environmental impact on vehicle emissions and the protection of the tax base.

Under the new structure for both VRT and motor tax, the CO2 band A has been broken into four separate bands and the B band has been split into two. For motor tax only, a new zero band is also introduced for electric vehicles with a lower annual tax of €120 applying. The revised banding recognises that ever more fuel efficient cars are becoming available and allows for the differentiation of the environmental incentive in favour of the most environmentally friendly vehicles now and into the future. Indeed, the reduction in tax for electric vehicles recognises that there are no emissions at the point of use of these vehicles. These changes ensure a strong environmental incentive remains in place.

While the combined levels of increases in the lower CO2 bands in this budget and the last are higher than the rest of the fleet, the increases must be viewed against a structure that has left the bottom rates very low. The reality is that there has been a significant loss of motor tax income over the past number of years, as the number of vehicles taxed on the basis of CO2 emissions has increased by about 5% year on year. At the end of October, the CO2 fleet of nearly 429,000 cars comprised just under 23% of all cars on the road. Of these, over 385,000 are taxed at the three lowest bands. This year, for the first time, over half of all new cars purchased are in the A band, the lowest rate of tax. This erosion of the tax base presents a challenge on the taxation side of the budget and needs to be addressed.

While the move to lower emission cars is welcome from an environmental perspective, it represented an increasing loss of income to fund local services. Receipts have reduced from €1.06 billion in 2008 to €1.01 billion in 2011. It is estimated that income for this year would have been in the region of €954 million had no increases in rates taken place in the last budget, a further reduction of 5.5%.

This budget restructures the bands in such a way that there remains a positive incentive to purchase low CO2 cars in recognition of the need to maintain correct environmental signals in the transport sector as an important part of our national effort to reduce emissions and achieve our climate obligations. The restructuring also goes towards responding to the challenge of maintaining the motor tax base.

The A band is split into five bands corresponding to the four bands for VRT purposes, but with an additional zero emissions category to provide an additional incentive for electric cars.

What about the bicycle?

Introducing banding between 80 g and 120 g of CO2 per kilometre allows us to strengthen the environmental incentive to lower emissions cars while addressing the fiscal gap. The increase for the lowest band, the new band A1 below 80 g, is the lowest of any increase in motor tax, and the rates of increase up to band A3 at 110 g are below the average applied to the CO2 tax structure. This continues the message, in place since 2008, that lower emissions vehicles will attract the lower rates of motor tax.

Splitting the B band into two 10 g bands allows us to differentiate the tax increase to favour lower emission vehicles within this band also. While the percentage increases for the higher bands are lower, the monetary increases for bands D to G are greater than the monetary increases applying to bands A to C.

The restructuring of motor tax represents a continuing commitment to incentivise vehicles with lower emissions. The new bands below 120 g will allow this process to continue into the future. It is anticipated that the proposed increases this year will raise some €86.5 million for the Exchequer over a full year.

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will shortly bring forward a Bill to close off the arrangement whereby a vehicle owner can declare retrospectively that his or her vehicle was off the road. Provision will be made for a declaration to be made that a vehicle will be taken off the road. This change is designed to close off a loophole that disadvantages compliant taxpayers and is expected to bring in an additional €31.5 million in 2013, bringing the expected yield for 2013 to €118 million.

As there is no provision in the order for a reply to the debate, is it agreed that the Taoiseach will have two minutes to reply?

Therefore, I will call the Taoiseach at 8.48 p.m.

It is not agreed if Opposition Members are to be denied time.

Or Government backbenchers.

It is not agreed.

I will make a brief point on the first vote in the House. To clarify, the Fianna Fáil Party opposed the changes to the alcohol products tax, but we were supportive of the changes to the tobacco products tax. Since there was a combined vote, we voted against the resolution.

Fianna Fáil could have done it the other way for a change.

We are used to the practice whereby, similar to Committee Stage,-----

Fianna Fáil is used to talking out of both sides of its mouth.

-----there is a group discussion, yet it is unusual to have group voting. We might agree with some measures during the course of the night, yet be forced to oppose them because we are opposed to other resolutions in their groupings. I want people to understand.

I will be brief to allow other Deputies an opportunity. My colleague, Deputy Ó Cuív, will wish to discuss Financial Resolution No. 4. We will oppose the reduction in the farmers' flat rate addition from 5.2% to 4.8%. The Taoiseach stated that based on CSO figures and macrostatistics covering several years, this reduction will have no great effect but the figures before the House refer to collecting an extra €18 million in 2013 and an extra €21 million in a full year. That €21 million must come from somewhere, namely, farmers. I do not accept the argument that it will have no effect. It is not revenue neutral and places an extra cost on farmers.

The Taoiseach's final comment was on the change in respect of off-the-road vehicles, which is not specifically mentioned in the motion. Legislation will be introduced next year. We accept that an illegitimate loophole must be closed off but we are already being told on budget night that there will be supplementary budgets as the year goes on to address different issues and increase revenue.

It was not announced in the budget. A new tax accruing €31 million will be introduced whenever the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Hogan, returns from wherever he is.

We will have supplementary budgets to raise revenue during the course of the year, yet I believed that the purpose of tonight was to budget for the full year. When the Taoiseach next gets a chance to speak - he has not been given an opportunity to respond to this debate - he might explain how many supplementary budgets there will be to raise tax during the course of the coming year.

That is wishful thinking on the Deputy's behalf.

We are generally supportive of the changes to the categories of VRT and motor tax. Fianna Fáil could oppose everything, but we agreed to the €3.5 billion. We must be responsible, put our money where our mouths are and support some measures that we might not particularly like. When the push comes, Deputies cannot support everything in principle and oppose it in detail.

I wonder who would do that.

However, we will oppose the resolution in respect of VRT. It is unfortunate that due to the grouping, all three matters are being taken together, including that relating to farmers. We will vote "No" collectively, but we are generally supportive of Financial Resolution No. 5. There will not be an opportunity to vote to demonstrate our support separately.

Understood.

We will be devastated.

This group of financial resolutions deals with VRT, farmers' tax and motor trade tax. I will deal with the VRT and motor trade tax issues first.

The reality is that many people depend on their cars to get from A to B. I listened to what the Taoiseach said about the drop in income in terms of revenue. The statistics bear that out. We moved to a CO2 model post-2008 and car manufacturers have caught up with that to the extent that the majority of cars fall into the A and B grouping. The Government is continuing with the model. In effect, it has said to drivers to purchase low-emission cars and they will pay reduced taxation. Now the Government is saying that it is not taking in enough money and it wants people to pay more anyway, despite the fact that people might have sold a pre-2008 car that would have had a high CO2 output and invested in a new car in order to avail of low car tax. For many people who could afford to buy a new car, a driving issue was for them to be on band A or band B, yet the Government is coming back to sting them.

It is clear that the budget in its totality has been anti-family and anti-children. As the Taoiseach indicated, VRT goes up to approximately €90 for different classes of car. Parents with more than three children aged younger than 12 do not have the option of having a normal five-seater car. They must buy a seven-seater to comply with Irish law and safety standards. It is important that they do so. I do not oppose that. However, the reality is that families with more than three children are being hit hardest because they are forced to buy a larger car which means that they pay additional VRT because the car is more expensive in the first place, but also because those cars do not fall into the lower taxation A or B categories. The proposed increases will affect cars required by parents with larger families. It is another example of how the Government is affecting children and families in the budget.

There is no doubt that it is also a shake-down of motorists. It is another grab for money aimed at motorists. As someone from west Donegal, if I had the option of coming to Dublin by train or on Bus Éireann I would take it. People do not have the option in rural areas. Coming from a rural county the Taoiseach is aware of that. Dependency on cars is not something ingrained in the Irish psyche; it is a necessity. The increase will again come from the limited pot of money available to people. VRT is an unfair tax and we should aim to introduce a fairer system. With the free transport of goods and people in the European Union the Government introduced a tax for people to have a licence plate. People are paying thousands of euro to have their car registered. It is a way of circumventing European law.

VRT is a big issue in Border counties. I refer, for example, to people in Lifford who might work in Strabane and buy a car there but they have to pay an astronomical level of VRT just because they live across a bridge. They are in the same country but they live across a bridge and the Government stings them for that. Sinn Féin most definitely opposes both of those measures on motor taxation.

The Government wants to bring in €21 million from the changes to VAT affecting farmers in a full year. As the Taoiseach mentioned in his contribution, that affects non-registered farmers, who for VAT purposes are smaller farmers.

That is not true. Bigger farmers are not registered for VAT either.

Members must speak through the Chair, please.

In the majority of cases it will be smaller farmers who will fall into this category. I do not say it is small farmers exclusively. We can agree on that. A farmer who sells an animal for €100 is currently entitled to €5.20 on top of that under the VAT rules but the Government wants to reduce that to €4.80. It is not a fair tax. Let us be clear. The Government is bringing forward this resolution without hiding the fact that it will yield €21 million. Therefore, the question is where the €21 million will come from. It will come from the farming sector. I do not know what else will be included when we see the finer details on the various cuts in the agriculture sector but we know from the latest report on agricultural incomes that they have dropped. Such issues are important to farmers, in particular in areas such as the west and in Donegal which I represent and which has huge levels of disadvantaged land. A grab of €21 million is not something the Government should consider at this point. Many farmers will be keen to see what measures will be in place to help them in order that we can ensure food security throughout the world and that small farmers remain in business in the future. Sinn Féin will vote against the three measures.

I will be brief. As with many of the measures that are being introduced in the budget, and in the previous budget, the Taoiseach will try to provide a specific justification or rationale for particular tax increases. He will try to make them sound more palatable when in reality they are just further overwhelmingly regressive austerity measures that are being imposed on ordinary families. Families do not have different pots of money which are somehow separate and unconnected: one for cars, one for farm vehicles, another one for property taxes or cigarettes and a pint of beer at the weekend. They all come out of the same pot. All of the increases will disproportionately and regressively affect those who have the least. That is the reality of all such measures. Their combined effect will be to impoverish people who already have very little.

Those particular measures will disproportionately affect families, as so many others have. The more children one has, the harder one will be hit in a range of ways. The motor taxation measures are no exception in that regard. One will be punished just because one has more children and has to have a larger car to transport them. Just in case it would encourage people to use alternative forms of transport such as public transport, let us not forget that a significant number of people do not have access to public transport. Cuts have been made to existing public transport and there have been increases in bus and rail fares of between 14% and 19%.

People are being hit from the left, the right and the centre but all of the extra money must come out of the same pot. The increases are a slap in the face for people who bought vehicles with low emissions not just this year, but last year. The attempt to say the increases are stepped and that there are still incentives is all mar dhea. The Government has slapped in the face those who made an investment to try to comply with measures to encourage reduced CO2 emissions. We will oppose the resolutions.

Deputy Boyd Barrett opposes everything. He never supported anything in his life.

On that point, your whipness, in response to what Deputy Sean Fleming said-----

Deputy Richard “Oppose” Boyd Barrett.

We have been consistent on these matters because we provided an alternative. As I tried to explain to the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste earlier, none of these cuts would be necessary if they enforced the 12.5% corporate tax rate on the multinationals which are making tens of billions in profits and walking away with the loot.

And lose jobs.

That is our alternative.

The Deputy is even making Deputy McDonald laugh.

Alternatively, if it had imposed a fair and progressive income tax on those earning over €100,000, as we explained in our pre-budget submission, the Government could have raised €2.5 billion. It would not have needed to impose these cuts or attack families; it could have done it fairly and had money left over to fund a jobs programme.

I want to deal first with the issue of the unregistered VAT. I will be told that this is a small cut but it is €18 million out of the pockets of small farmers.

Out of every farmer's pocket. That is your spin.

Yes, except the very large-----

Will Deputies please speak through the Chair? If the Deputy wants to speak I will call him later.

The Deputy should tell the truth.

The very big farmers who are registered for VAT do not come under this and if Deputy Hayes listened to what-----

Big and small. The Deputy should know about that. I can understand Sinn Féin not knowing it but not the Deputy.

Will Deputies please assist the Chair? There is a limited amount of time.

Okay, but we like to have the facts.

It was the Taoiseach-----

I have five or six other speakers offering and there are about 18 minutes left. Would Deputies please co-operate with the Chair? Thank you.

It was the Taoiseach who made that point. It is extraordinary that this cut is being imposed in a year of unprecedented bad weather. One might say it is not a big cut but when it is added to the other cuts, and particularly to the cut in the farm assist scheme, one begins to see the cumulative effect of the changes in this budget.

If you had your way there would be no farmers left.

I will explain the amount being lost in the farm assist scheme. For example, if a single person or a couple with no children had income from the farm of €100 they will have lost €30 under the previous two budgets and they now find that 100% of the income from the farm has been taken off them. For a married couple with four children who are getting €10,000 a year from the farm the cut is €72, and if their income is double that the cut is €132 a week. I know the Deputy's calculation is quite simple - there are only 1,400 of them, so they do not count because they are in rural Ireland and they probably do not vote Labour anyway. These are real families who need means-tested payments.

They did not vote for Fianna Fáil the previous time.

Deputy Hayes should not forget that I set up the rural social scheme and eliminated that problem.

And your party broke the country.

If the Minister expanded the rural social scheme it would resolve a lot of this problem too.

Your party broke the country.

In terms of understanding and working on these issues, when the €80 million is added to this further cut and to other cuts the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced this evening, one can understand the impact on farm families.

It is interesting that although the Minister made great play about some tax breaks he was giving to larger farmers, when one looked at the figures one could see that even those farmers were not getting anything because there is no figure in the budget for the cost of that tax break. This is a tax break without a cost and a tax break without a cost is not a tax break because nobody can benefit from it. It is what is known in mathematical terms as the null set; it exists but there is nothing in it.

I am delighted that the Government is moving against off-road vehicles because it was one of the most abused aspects of Irish society. I agree with that change. It is overdue and it is a change we should have made when we were in Government. I often asked that it be made. I compliment the Government on moving on that issue and it has my support.

Unlike the Deputy from Sinn Féin, I believe VRT is a reasonably fair tax. One is not obliged to buy a new car and one is not obliged to buy a big new car. I would much prefer that as a tax-----

You are if you have a big family.

You do not have to buy a big new car.

Deputy, would you ignore the comments and speak through the Chair please?

One has much more discretion about that than a tax on one's house. When we talk about the cross-Border aspect, therefore, we must not forget that if one pays the VRT on this side of the Border, at least one can buy a big second-hand car or a smaller car if one does not need a big car. However, if one lives on the other side of the Border under Sinn Féin one will be paying between €1,000 and €2,000 a year just to own a house.

Now. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I ask Members to be conscious of the time, please.

I want to make a final point. When we introduced the change in the rates of taxation for energy-efficient cars it was not foreseen that the industry would change so rapidly and that there would be so much loss of revenue. I accept, therefore, that something must be done to adjust that, but I ask the Tánaiste to examine the issue of older cars because we now have a situation in which there is a large difference in tax between two different 1.9-litre cars. Raising the tax on the older cars - many people cannot afford new cars - is a disproportionate hit on those who are less well off. There was a case, therefore, for narrowing but not eliminating the gap-----

(Interruptions).

-----particularly on bigger new cars and bigger older cars because, for those who have a 1.6-litre or a 1.9-litre car, €690 per year is a considerable burden. Many of those people cannot afford to buy the new energy-efficient cars. That is something the Government should seriously consider.

I too want to record that I would rather have voted for Financial Resolution No. 1 than Financial Resolution No. 2, despite Deputy Stagg's desire that I might vote in favour of Financial Resolution No. 2 to ensure he will not have to pay a fortune on cigarettes.

Thanks very much, Catherine.

This has been a successful strategy in terms of the choices people make. It was positive from an environmental point of view also. Essentially, this is being changed because it has been successful. It is unfortunate, because people will feel cheated by that change.

Something that is noticeable in any car park - I am prone to noticing this - is the number of cars that predate 2008, because people have not been in a position to upgrade. There are fewer cars on the road and that is part of the reason for the reduction in motor taxation. People have become very price-conscious and many are selling the second car, but they are being caught every way in that respect. If they want to change to a more cost-efficient car they will be paying the VRT. These are sizeable increases at a time when people, particularly those with older cars, are struggling. We are back to the point at which people are starting to talk about the number of kilometres they can get from a litre of petrol. Everyone has become very conscious of the cost of travelling to work and often they limit their journeys because of the cost. The motor tax increase will be a serious imposition on many ordinary families, particularly those with older cars who cannot change the size of the car to reduce the amount of motor tax they will pay.

I want to speak on Financial Resolution No. 4 and the changes to agricultural relief.

Farm families have suffered a 22% drop in income this year. Taking into account the changes to tax and PRSI that affect everyone in the economy, it will put major pressure on families throughout the country and, in particular, farm families. On top of that, there were further announcements on the suckler cow welfare scheme, the sheep grassland payment and the disadvantaged area scheme. These announcements affect farmers in the west disproportionately. The farm assist scheme will have an effect on household income. The resolution before us will take €21 million out of the pockets of farmers. There is an EU calculation on how VAT is paid to farmers but my understanding is that the rate is based not on the value of VAT that has been paid in the previous three years but on the rate of VAT over the previous three years. There is a significant difference because farmers do not receive a refund of the VAT they have paid, only in respect of the average rate over the previous three years.

A further difficulty is that agricultural inflation is increasing. As a result, farmers are being short changed. Preliminary estimates for agricultural price indices for 2012 show energy costs have increased by 8.6% and feedstuffs by 5.5%, well in excess of the rate of refund proposed of 4.8%. The resolution before us means that if a farmer goes to the mart and sells an animal after 1 January for €1,000, he will receive €4 less per head as a result. While the basis of this is to ensure it is not intended as an aid or assistance to the farming sector, it is supposed to be fair compensation for VAT incurred by farmers. The way the system is structured, it is not based on the value of VAT paid over the previous three years by the agricultural community. It does not take into account the difficulties caused by the increase in agricultural inputs and the fact that the returns farmers receive for produce has decreased this year. The rate of return to the farmers, as a percentage of VAT, has also decreased.

We have an unregulated supermarket sector putting further pressure on farm gate prices and farmers are losing out on the double. I ask the Government to look at this again because farmers are being short changed. The structure of the system means farmers are not getting a true and accurate return with regard to the amount of VAT they pay.

It is very disappointing to see increases in VRT, motor tax and the trade licence plates. Not only will this affect ordinary citizens, it will affect the motor industry. We talked about giving a fuel rebate to the haulage industry, which is welcome, but we are obliterating it through these increases. The Taoiseach said his main reason for basing this on lower emissions was the loss of revenue. This is not a good enough excuse. We originally advertised for people to buy cars on the basis of low emissions and we made a big meal of it. Now, we are reneging on the promise and it is unacceptable. Part of the promise was the Kyoto Agreement on emissions. The measure was beefed up as if it would help on the emissions side. Where does that leave us if we are in breach of the Kyoto Agreement as a result? This has not been properly examined. Could we not have introduced a scrappage scheme or something for the motor industry? That would have been a good idea.

This budget has been punitive for farmers. Whatever Deputy Tom Hayes says, it applies more to small farmers. PRSI, farm assist and this VAT measure make it very serious. The agriculture industry has been suffering over the past year. Although it had a lift in the past two years, the weather was bad over the summer and is bad again now. The sum of €21 million is a lot to take from small rural communities and will have a major impact.

With regard to motor tax, there is a total breach of faith and trust. It happened also in the previous two years beginning with the former Minister, Brian Lenihan.

Deputy Mattie McGrath supported that Government.

I did and we can all learn from our mistakes.

Deputy Mattie McGrath is still supporting them.

I am also supporting the farmers in Wexford. How will we encourage communities, such as a school or a family, to do something for the environment? The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government might be in Doha, or wherever he is-----

-----but people voted with their pockets and bought cars with low emissions. I need a big car because I have a big family but the breach of trust is not fair.

I knew Deputy Mattie McGrath's van would be sold.

I cannot believe the vehicle registration measure. I am being magnanimous in that I do not know if Richie Ryan is late or if he is still alive. I do not want to be mean to him. The budget of Richie Ruin contained a terrible thing but now the Government is taxing the hearse. Will it tax the shroud or the habit next? I cannot believe the sneaky things that are included here.

Deputy Mattie McGrath should explain himself. We do not know what he is talking about.

It is punitive in the extreme. The Government has increased the tax on the hearse, the vehicle that will bury us all when we are deceased. Richie Ryan did not do that.

The Deputy is mixed up

I am not mixed up. The habit and the shroud are not safe.

Deputy McGrath is thinking about some other budget.

It is in the book.

I put on record my total opposition to another attack on small farming communities at a time when our farming communities and small family farms have had the worst eight or nine-month period ever. They see the Government letting them down and taking money out of their pockets at a time when off-farm income has diminished. Farmers might have had a part-time job during the better years but that work is gone and they still have the same costs imposed upon them every day. The money being taken out of their pockets will have a real impact on them.

With regard to motor tax and vehicle registration tax, it is a poorly thought out decision because we should be trying to encourage people to motor. When people are motoring, they spend more money because they go places and they do more things. Unfortunately, the cost of motoring is prohibitive so people will not engage in the travelling they might have done in the past. I voice my opposition to these measures, which are poorly thought out. They will hit the most vulnerable in society, those who must keep a motor car and must travel to work. I appreciate that excise duty on fuel was not increased but if fuel halved in price tomorrow morning it would still be very expensive. If the average car or van takes €100 to fill, it would still be a lot of money if it was €50. I am thankful to the Government for not increasing excise duty on fuel but I do not like to see changes to VRT and motor tax.

Is Deputy Healy-Rae thinking of coming over to join Deputy Mattie McGrath?

As it now is 8.50 p.m. and the time allocated for debate has expired, I must put the question, "That Financial Resolutions Nos. 3, 4 and 5 be agreed to".

Question put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 103; Níl, 53.

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Eric.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Collins, Áine.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Creighton, Lucinda.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flanagan, Terence.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Hayes, Brian.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Keaveney, Colm.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McEntee, Shane.
  • McFadden, Nicky.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Mitchell, Olivia.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Nash, Gerald.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • O'Reilly, Joe.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Perry, John.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Spring, Arthur.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Timmins, Billy.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Flanagan, Luke 'Ming'.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Higgins, Joe.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kirk, Seamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nulty, Patrick.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Paul Kehoe and Emmett Stagg;; Níl, Deputies Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Aengus Ó Snodaigh..
Question declared carried.