"(1)THAT in this Resolution ‘the Act of 1952' means the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act, 1952 (No. 24 of 1952) and ‘the Act of 1992' means the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1992 (No. 28 of 1992).
(2)That the Act of 1952 shall, as respects licences under section 1 of that Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 2001 be amended in subsection (4) of that section 1 by the addition of the following paragraph after paragraph (f2>f):
‘(g)vehicles which are used exclusively for mountain and cave rescue purposes.'.
(3)That the Act of 1952 shall, as respects licences under section 1 of that Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 2001 be amended in Part 1 of the Schedule thereto:
(a)by the substitution of the following for paragraph 1:
‘1.Vehicles of the following descriptions not exceeding 500 kilograms in weight unladen:
(a)bicycles (other than bicycles which are electrically propelled), or tricycles (other than tricycles neither constructed nor adapted for use nor used for the carriage of a passenger), of which the cylinder capacity of the engine–
(i)does not exceed 75 cubic centimetres £25
(ii)exceeds 75 cubic centimetres but does not exceed 200 cubic centimetres£35
(iii)exceeds 200 cubic centimetres£45
(b)bicycles or tricycles which are electrically propelled£22
(c)vehicles with three or more wheels neither constructed nor adapted for use nor used for the carriage of a driver or passenger£45',
(b)by the substitution in paragraph 2 of ‘£52' for ‘£49' in each place where it occurs other than in subparagraph (c),
(c)by the substitution of ‘£170' for ‘£49' in subparagraph (c) of paragraph 2,
(d)by the substitution of ‘£451' for ‘£425' in subparagraph (b) of paragraph 2,
(e)by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph 4:
‘4.Vehicles of the following descriptions:
(a)vehicles designed, constructed and used for the purpose of trench dig ging or any kind of excavating or shovelling work which–
(i)are used on public roads only for that purpose or the purpose of proceeding to and from the place where they are to be used for that purpose, and
(ii)when so proceeding neither carry nor haul any load other than such as is necessary for their propulsion or equipment£5
(b)tractors (being tractors designed and con-structed primarily for use otherwise than on roads and incapable by reason of their construction of exceeding a speed of 50 kilometres per hour on a level road under their own power) and agricultural engines, not being tractors or engines used for hauling on roads any objects except their own necessary gear, threshing appliances, farming implements or supplies of fuel or water required for the purposes of the vehicles or agricultural purposes£52
(c)tractors (being tractors designed and constructed primarily for use otherwise than on roads and incapable by reason of their construction of exceeding a speed of 50 kilometres per hour on a level road under their own power and not being tractors in respect of which a duty is chargeable at the rate specified in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph) which are used for haulage in connection with agriculture and for no other purpose£52
Where a tractor is fitted with a detachable platform, container or implement (being a platform, container or implement used primarily for farm work), goods or burden of any other description conveyed on or in the platform, container or implement shall be regarded for the purposes of this subparagraph as being hauled by the tractor,
(d)tractors of any other description£170
(e)motor caravans, being vehicles which are shown to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners to be designed, constructed or adapted to provide temporary living accommodation which has an interior height of not less than 1.8 metres when measured in such manner as may be approved by the Revenue Commissioners and, in respect of which vehicles, such design, construction or adaptation incorporates the following permanently fitted equipment–
(i)a sink unit,
(ii)cooking equipment of not less than a hob with 2 rings or such other cooking equipment as may be prescribed, and
(iii)any other equipment or fittings as may be prescribed£52
(f)vehicles which are kept and used exclusively on an offshore island to which there is no direct road or bridge access from the main-land£52.',
(f)by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph 5:
‘5. Vehicles (including tricycles weighing more than 500 kilograms unladen) constructed or adapted for use and used for the conveyance of goods or burden of any other description in the course of trade or business (including agriculture and the performance by a local or public authority of its functions) and vehicles constructed or adapted for use and used for the conveyance of a machine, workshop, contrivance or implement by or in which goods being conveyed by such vehicles are processed or manufactured while the vehicles are in motion:
(a)being vehicles which are electrically propelled and which do not exceed 1,500 kilograms in weight unladen£54
(b)being vehicles which are not such electrically propelled vehicles as aforesaid and which have a weight unladen–
(i)not exceeding 3,000 kilograms£170
(ii)exceeding 3,000 kilograms but not exceeding 4,000 kilograms£215
(iii)exceeding 4,000 kilograms but not exceeding 5,000 kilograms£277
(iv)exceeding 5,000 kilograms but not exceeding 6,000 kilograms£384
(v)exceeding 6,000 kilograms but not exceeding 7,000 kilograms£519
(vi)exceeding 7,000 kilograms but not exceeding 8,000 kilograms£653
(vii)exceeding 8,000 kilograms but not exceeding 20,000 kilograms £653 plus £154 for each 1,000 kilograms or part thereof in excess of 8,000 kilograms
(viii)exceeding 20,000 kilograms ............. £2,644',
(g)by the substitution of ‘£52' for ‘£49' in subparagraph (f2>a) of paragraph 6, and
(h)by the substitution of the following subparagraph for subparagraph (d) of paragraph 6:
(d)other vehicles to which this paragraph applies and which have an engine capacity–
‘(i)not exceeding 1,000 cubic centimetres£102
(ii)exceeding 1,000 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,100 cubic centimetres£152
(iii)exceeding 1,100 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,200 cubic centimetres£168
(iv)exceeding 1,200 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,300 cubic centimetres£182
(v)exceeding 1,300 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,400 cubic centimetres£196
(vi)exceeding 1,400 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,500 cubic centimetres£210
(vii)exceeding 1,500 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,600 cubic centimetres£262
(viii)exceeding 1,600 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,700 cubic centimetres£278
(ix)exceeding 1,700 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,800 cubic centimetres£325
(x)exceeding 1,800 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 1,900 cubic centimetres£343
(xi)exceeding 1,900 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,000 cubic centimetres£361
(xii)exceeding 2,000 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,100 cubic centimetres£462
(xiii)exceeding 2,100 cubic centi-metres but not exceeding 2,200 cubic centimetres£484
(xiv)exceeding 2,200 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,300 cubic centimetres£506
(xv)exceeding 2,300 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,400 cubic centimetres£527
(xvi)exceeding 2,400 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,500 cubic centimetres£550
(xvii)exceeding 2,500 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,600 cubic centimetres£644
(xviii)exceeding 2,600 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,700 cubic centimetres£669
(xix)exceeding 2,700 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,800 cubic centimetres£693
(xx)exceeding 2,800 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 2,900 cubic centimetres£718
(xxi)exceeding 2,900 cubic centimetres but not exceeding 3,000 cubic centimetres£743
(xxii)exceeding 3,000 cubic centimetres£900
(4)That the Act of 1952 shall, as respects licences under section 1 of that Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 2001, be amended in Part II of the Schedule thereto–
(a)by the substitution of ‘£13' for ‘£12' in paragraph 5(a)(i), and
(b)by the substitution of ‘£29' for ‘£27' in paragraph 5(a)(ii).
(5) That the Act of 1992 shall as respects licences under section 21(3) of that Act taken out for periods beginning on or after the 1st day of April, 2001, be amended–
(a)by the substitution of ‘£30' for ‘£27' in paragraph (a)(i),
(b)by the substitution of ‘£180' for ‘£160' in paragraph (a)(ii),
(c)by the substitution of ‘£20' for ‘£17' in paragraph (b)(i), and
(d)by the substitution of ‘£44' for ‘£39' in paragraph (b)(ii).
(6)It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1927 (No. 7 of 1927)."
I thank the Opposition Whips for facilitating this debate this afternoon, as it necessary to move these resolutions to enable us to provide necessary notification before 1 April.
I also take this opportunity to apologise, as I said I would, to Deputy Howlin. I accused him last night of telling a lie in the House. He kindly checked the Dáil record for me and it transpires that I misheard the Deputy. I unreservedly withdraw the remark, and I apologise to Deputy Howlin.
This resolution provides for amendment of the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act, 1952, and the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1992, in relation to rates of motor tax and fees for trade licence plates. The House will be aware that at the end of last year press notice was given of the intention to change motor tax rates from the 1 April 2001. Not all motor tax rates are being increased, but where increases are proposed, smaller increases are to be applied to smaller cars which generally use less fuel and give rise to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Motor taxation is paid directly into the local government fund. This fund, which was established under the Local Government Act, 1998, is provided in law for the specific purpose of local government and cannot be used by the Exchequer for other purposes. The fund is financed from the proceeds of motor taxation which is supplemented by an Exchequer contribution. The fund is used to finance non-national roads and the general purpose needs of local authorities.
The general purpose grants which are made from the fund to local authorities replace the old rate support grants. They are discretionary and may be used by authorities for whatever purpose they consider necessary, but are generally used to supplement other local income sources such as commercial rates and charges to finance their day to day operations. These operations cover a wide range of programmes for which local authorities have responsibility such as housing, roads, water and sewerage, planning, the natural environment, recreation and amenities and community development.
Local authorities face significantly increased costs in the delivery of these programmes for 2001 and must accordingly be adequately resourced to fund these increased costs if they are to meet the demands. In addition, local authorities are charged with delivering on large elements of the national development plan which is vital for social and economic development. It is imperative, therefore, that they have sufficient financial resources available to deliver this work. Local authorities' responsibilities do not end there, as the delivery of significant capital projects under the national development plan will have considerable implications for authorities in terms of operation and maintenance costs. Additional resources which arise from changes in motor tax rates will help local authorities to meet their commitments and to provide more and better quality services to the community.
New rates will apply to tax discs and trade licences taken out for periods beginning on or after 1 April 2001. As regards private cars, three different rates of increase are proposed depending on engine size. There will be a 4% increase for cars up to 1100cc, which represents an annual rate increase of £4 to £6, a 5% increase from 1101cc to 1500cc, which means annual increases of between £8 and £10, and a 6% increase for cars of 1501cc and over. These increases will range from £15 at the lower end of this bracket to £51 for cars over 3001cc. Almost two thirds of all cars are under 1500cc and will be subject to annual increases of between £4 and £10 – between about 8p and 19p a week.
A flat 6% increase is proposed for goods vehicles. At the minimum goods vehicle rate, which incidentally is paid by over four-fifths of commercial vehicle owners, this represents an annual increase of £10, or less than 20p per week. A revision of motorcycle tax rates is proposed to reflect the different engine sizes of these vehicles. The single rate of £22 is being replaced by the three tax bands, which existed prior to 1992. The new rates proposed vary between £25 for motorcycles under 75cc to £45 for motorcycles over 200cc.
There is also a tax class that includes vehicles constructed only for the conveyance of a built-in machine or workshop and includes recovery vehicles. Outside of recovery vehicles which collect disabled vehicles, this class includes cranes, well-boring machines and fish and chip vans. These vehicles, like goods vehicles, are designed and constructed for the carriage of various items in the course of trade or profession. It is proposed to bring these vehicles into line with the goods vehicle class and to increase their rate to the new goods vehicle minimum of £170.
As with goods vehicles, a 6% increase is proposed for agricultural tractors. It is proposed to align non-agricultural or general haulage tractors with the minimum goods vehicle rate. Average increases of 12% are proposed for trade licences, or trade plates as they are known. These are the green registration plates used by motor traders on vehicles, which are temporarily in their possession, in lieu of taxing such vehicles. While there are strict restrictions on the use of the plates, they are transferable between vehicles.
It is proposed to introduce two new motor tax classes. The first of these is to be a class covering all vehicles, irrespective of whether they are private vehicles or goods vehicles, which are used exclusively on an offshore island to which there is no direct road or bridge access from the mainland. A reduced rate of just £52 per annum is proposed for this class. This reduction is in recognition of the limited use of such vehicles and that some owners require a vehicle both on an island and on the mainland. The reduced rate will not apply to vehicles on islands such as Achill or Valentia which are connected to the mainland.
The second new tax class comprises all vehicles which are used exclusively for mountain and cave rescue purposes. It is proposed to exempt this class of vehicle from motor tax altogether. Vehicles used exclusively for transporting lifeboats, ambulances, fire brigade vehicles and State owned vehicles are already exempt from motor tax. Exempting this new class of vehicle for motor tax purposes completes a motor tax exemption for all emergency vehicles.
One of the primary reasons for rebalancing motor tax rates is to reflect their impact on the environment. As a greening measure, no increases are proposed for public service vehicles such as buses, taxis and hackneys. Youth and community buses, school buses and electric vehicles are also being exempted.
While not covered by the resolution, it is also relevant to report to the House on other measures proposed for introduction in tandem with the introduction of new motor tax rates. As a measure to assist people who may face difficulty in taxing their cars on a full year basis, regulations are being introduced to provide for a reduction in the surcharge which applies to vehicles which are taxed half yearly or quarterly. It is proposed that these regulations will come into effect from 1 April 2001.
This financial resolution will cease on the enactment of the relevant Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Bill, 2001, which has been approved by the Government and will be presented at the earliest possible date.