I thank the Minister of State for taking this Adjournment matter which concerns the new declaration involving the taxation of a commercial vehicle. This issue has caused major unrest in my area. I have received numerous representations about it in my constituency offices in Drogheda and Ardee. People may have had their vehicles taxed for years without any problem, but difficulties have arisen over recent months. It is essential the Minister of State would clarify the issue. I have been in correspondence about the matter with Louth County Council and other authorities in the north east. They have sent me differing answers so there appears to be some confusion even within the local authorities involved. They say the new declaration applies when a person is taxing a vehicle under the goods rate for the first time. It will apply, therefore, when the vehicle is brand new or new to the person who is taxing it. This has not been the experience of a number of my constituents. That is why it is essential for the Minister of State to clarify the matter now.
Other factors are also involved, including whether an owner has his or her business registered with the Revenue Commissioners or whether the building is VAT registered, in which case there are thresholds on VAT registration. It is important to clarify these issues for individuals who use their vehicles for work purposes, although they may also be used on an odd occasion for personal reasons. One example concerned a neighbour whose wife's car broke down. He was not legally permitted to use his van to pick up his wife and bring her home. We are now in quite a crazy situation. Other people may use a vehicle for work purposes but they are not self-employed and are therefore subject to other criteria. I will be interested to hear the Minister of State's reply. I thank him again for taking this Adjournment matter in the House.