Motor tax is payable on an annual, half-yearly or quarterly basis. The Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act 1952 provides that the rate of duty for a quarterly tax disc must not exceed 30% of the annual duty applicable and sets no upper limit for a half-yearly disc. The rates of duty currently applicable to the quarterly and half-yearly discs are 28.25% and 55.5% of the annual rate, respectively. These relativities have remained generally constant since the 1960s and I have no plans currently to change them.
Non-annual transactions make up over two-thirds of all motor transactions processed. Tax rates for these discs take account of the extra staffing, administrative and printing costs for motor tax offices and the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF) arising from the higher number of motor tax applications and in issuing reminders for each renewal.
The estimated annual income from the increased charges for these discs is in the region of €50m. A loss in income of this magnitude would have a negative impact on the Local Government Fund and consequently on grant allocations to local authorities from the Fund, and would have to be borne elsewhere in the motor tax system, or through the taxation system generally.