Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (757)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

757. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to Parliamentary Question No. 699 of 26 November 2013, if he has met with representatives of the Irish Road Haulage Association in relation to the proposed road users levy to be introduced by the British Government in respect of HGVs entering the North and Britain; if he has discussed this matter at the North-South Ministerial Council; if there has been any further progress in his Department's discussion with his British counterpart; if he has received a formal proposal in relation to cross-Border routes that may be considered for exemption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5230/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Since becoming Minister, I have had a regular engagement and meetings with the Irish Road Haulage Association. At my most recent meeting with the IRHA, I received proposals from them in relation to HGV motor tax reform in response to the UK road users levy. These proposals were also sent to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, as since the basis for the calculation of motor tax is a matter for his Department.  However, for the Deputy's information, my Department is chairing a cross-Governmental working group looking at the issues involved in developing a HGV road charging regime for Ireland in the medium term. This group is due to conclude its work by the middle of this year.

The issue of the UK HGV road user levy has been discussed at transport sectoral meetings of the North South Ministerial Council.  I am due to meet my counterpart UK Minister in late February.  I will once again raise the issue of an exemption from the user levy for certain roads in Northern Ireland at this meeting. I would be grateful if the Deputy's party colleagues in the House of Commons could raise the matter also.