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Budget Statement 2019

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Snippet Contents:

In relation to tax measures, I am extending the VRT relief for hybrid vehicles until the end of 2019. I will then review these reliefs in the context of the overall changes to VRT brought about by the new emissions measurement system, namely, the WLTP. The new system will increase the amount of VRT payable on many new cars. The measures were introduced on a transitional basis this September when it was estimated that there would be an increase of some 7% in emissions. This will rise to 20% with effect from 2020 when the transitional arrangements no longer apply. In line with several other EU member states and in support of climate and public health policy, I am providing for a 1% surcharge for diesel vehicles to apply across all VRT bands.
Carbon Tax
I welcome the ESRI report as a first step in better understanding the environmental, social and economic impact of carbon tax. It is my intention to put in place a long-term trajectory for carbon tax increases out to 2030 in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Advisory Council and the special Oireachtas committee examining changes in climate.
Gas Propelled Vehicles and Refuelling Equipment
I will be introducing a new accelerated capital allowances scheme for gas-propelled vehicles and refuelling equipment. This is designed to encourage the uptake of gas-propelled commercial vehicles as an economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to diesel.
The green public transport fund was established to support the uptake of low-carbon, energy efficient technologies within the public transport sector and, as set out in the national development plan, Ireland will no longer purchase diesel-only buses for the urban public service obligation fleets after July 2019.
Green Budgeting and Green Finance
The publication of a special report from the UN's International Panel on Climate Change underscores the need for resolute action to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement.
In support of this, I am committing Ireland to joining the Paris collaborative on green budgeting. Under this initiative, we will develop new and innovative ways of embedding climate change in the budgetary process. As a first step, my Department will publish a list of all Exchequer climate-related expenditure in this year's Revised Estimates Volume.
The National Treasury Management Agency, NTMA, will also issue shortly Ireland's first ever green bond. The bond will broaden the funding base for Ireland's debt and, in future, may even allow the financing of climate related expenditure at a lower rate of interest than other expenditures.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL IRELAND
I turn now to agriculture which, of course, makes a significant contribution to our economy and society.