Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (538, 544, 546)

Ciara Conway

Question:

538. Deputy Ciara Conway asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a comparison of the commercial road vehicle tax in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; his plans to restructure commercials vehicle tax here to ease the burden and help improve competitiveness of operators here; if he will consider setting up a working group to examine this issue (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22549/14]

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Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

544. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will consider restructuring commercial vehicle road tax in the South of Ireland in line with comparable costs in Northern Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a local haulier in Ireland pays an average of €3,500 per annum per truck to the local authority or Department, while a local haulage operator in Northern Ireland pays an average of £640 per truck per annum; if he will establish a working group with the Irish Road Haulage Association within his Department in order for these issues to be addressed in time for budget 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22685/14]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

546. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has considered the Irish Road Haulage Association commercial vehicle road tax proposal; his plans to implement any or all of its proposal; and if not the reasons for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22700/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 538, 544 and 546 together.

I have no function in relation to commercial road vehicle tax in Northern Ireland. Motor tax rates in this jurisdiction are available on my Department’s website at: http://www.environ.ie/en/LocalGovernment/MotorTax/PublicationsDocuments/FileDownLoad,31672,en.doc.

The Irish Road Haulage Association have proposed the introduction of a road charging scheme for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), along with a change in the basis of motor taxation from unladen to gross design vehicle weight. The proposal in relation to the road charging scheme is a matter for the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. His Department has established an Inter-Departmental Working Group on this matter which includes representation from, inter alia, my Department.

Any change to the basis of motor taxation for commercial vehicles as requested by the Irish Road Haulage Association, either as a stand-alone change or in conjunction with the introduction of a road charging scheme, would need to take account, inter alia, of the lack of correlation between unladen and gross design vehicle weight, the impacts on other motor tax payers and the impact on income to the Local Government Fund and, consequently, on the provision of local services. Any such change would also require amendments to primary legislation and technical modifications to the National Vehicle and Driver File.

Any consideration of changes to motor tax for HGVs can only place in the context of the outcome of the work of the inter-Departmental Working Group.