Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (390)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

390. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason it is cheaper to tax a motor car for a full 12 months as opposed to paying the amount over four instalments in view of the fact that those who have to pay in instalments are usually the persons who are struggling financially; his plans to change this pricing structure; if he has no plans the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24391/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

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.