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 Header Item Allocation of Time: Motion
 Header Item 2016: Financial Resolution
 Header Item Financial Resolution No. 1: Excise Duties on Mechanically Propelled Vehicles

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 892 No. 4

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Allocation of Time: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, the financial motions by the Minister for Finance shall, for the purposes of debate, be moved and decided in accordance with the following schedule and the proceedings thereon, and on any amendment thereto, shall, in the case of each resolution, be brought to a conclusion by one question which shall be put from the Chair not later than the times indicated as follows: Resolution No. 1, to conclude after 30 minutes; Resolution No. 2, to conclude after 30 minutes; Resolution No. 3, to conclude after 30 minutes; and Resolution No. 4, to conclude after 30 minutes.

  Question put and agreed to.

2016: Financial Resolution

Financial Resolution No. 1: Excise Duties on Mechanically Propelled Vehicles

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I move:

(1) THAT in this Resolution -
"Act of 1952" means the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act 1952 (No. 24 of 1952);

"Act of 2013" means the Motor Vehicle (Duties and Licences) Act 2013 (No. 9 of 2013).
(2) That as respects licences under section 1 of the Act of 1952 taken out for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016, the Schedule to the Act of 1952 be amended by substituting the following for paragraph 5 of Part I (amended by section 4 of the Act of 2013) of that Schedule:
“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 vehicle 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,€92
(b) being vehicles which are not such electrically propelled vehicles as aforesaid and which have a weight unladen — 
(i) not exceeding 3,000 kilograms,€333
(ii) exceeding 3,000 kilograms but not exceeding 4,000 kilograms,€420
(iii) exceeding 4,000 kilograms but not exceeding 12,000 kilograms,€500
(iv) exceeding 12,000 kilograms. €900
(3) 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).

Financial Resolution No. 1 provides for the amendment of the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act 1952. In the light of the importance of the haulage industry to our export-led growth and to ensure Ireland remains competitive, the rates of commercial motor tax on larger goods vehicles are being reduced. The resolution provides for the reduction to apply to all goods vehicles with an unladen weight exceeding 4,000 kg and will take effect for vehicle licences taken out on or after the commencement date of 1 January 2016. The reductions are tapered from a reduction of €4,295 for the heaviest goods vehicle band to a reduction of €43 annually for vehicles between 4,001 kg and 5,000 kg. The rates structure is also being simplified, with five bands of motor tax, ranging from the current level of €92 per annum for electric goods vehicles to €900 per annum for all goods vehicles in excess of 12,000 kg. The change will benefit the owners of more than 28,000 goods vehicles. This is an interim measure pending the replacement of the current basis of taxation for goods vehicles on unladen weight which is out of line with the basis of taxation in other countries and replacing it with a fairer system of calculation based on gross design vehicle weight. There are no other changes to motor tax for any other category of vehicle.

Deputy Michael McGrath: Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath I wish to speak in support of Financial Resolution No. 1. As we know, transportation costs are a key input to the cost base many businesses in Ireland face. As an island nation, there are very significant transportation costs involved in, for example, the export business. Goods received into Ireland by port have to be transported around the country. Many businesses are faced with transportation costs such as vehicle road tax which is out of line with that in our neighbouring jurisdiction. It is welcome that the Government is moving to reduce the rates, simplify the system and, it is hoped, help in some small way to make the position more competitive for those involved in and heavily dependent on the transportation industry.

Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin As a resident and representative of a constituency that straddles the Border, I am very conscious of the impact of the significant differential between the taxation which applies to heavy goods vehicles north of the Border as against that in my constituency and this jurisdiction. It is critically important that a level playing field is created or as near to such as is achievable. That is very important because the sector in this jurisdiction has taken a significant hit in recent years. A number of companies have either gone out of operation or are on the verge of facing a conclusion of their activities. That is having a knock-on, serious impact on employment across the sector. The move to a more environmentally aware way of deciding the tax payable on any vehicle has long been argued for. It has perhaps been a victim of its own success in terms of newer cars which are contributing less and less - allegedly - to air pollution. At least that is what the manufacturers have claimed until recent times. It is a big area which needs to be addressed more comprehensively than this financial resolution will allow. However, I have no hesitation in saying it is absolutely essential that a more level playing field be created south of the Border for hauliers who have had to face difficult economic circumstances in the continuation of their businesses and their ability to compete with hauliers north of the Border and in Britain. I hope this measure will make a critical difference in ensuring the viability of hauliers here and that they will have the opportunity not only to sustain their current operations but also to expand them into the future. I record my support for the resolution.

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer Zoom on Jerry Buttimer I welcome this resolution and commend the Minister for Finance, Deputy Michael Noonan, and the Minister for Transport and Sport, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, for the proposed changes. As the Taoiseach rightly said, this measure concerns job creation. It will give many small enterprises such as those in my city of Cork the opportunity to have confidence. It will drive growth and add to job creation, on which the budget has centred. In particular, it will give confidence to those involved in the road haulage industry. As Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin stated, it will give certainty, in particular in Border counties, and end the anomaly and the fears felt there. It will show in a progressive way that the industry is being recognised and that the Government is supporting the industry in a tangible and meaningful way. We should also acknowledge the Irish Road Haulage Association. We have all met its delegates who have spoken to us and highlighted the importance of the industry at a local level and to the domestic economy. This measure is critical and one I commend.

Deputy Robert Troy: Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy I, too, welcome the initiative. Transportation costs are key. Living on an island, most of our goods are transported on lorries and so forth. This measure is welcome as it will help to reduce these costs. However, while bringing forward this measure, another Department is bringing forward new proposals for the recycling of tyres. The relevant representative body has been in intense negotiations with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and his officials on new requirements that will result in a cost in the region of €200 being imposed on hauliers to replace their tyres. While, on the one hand, this is a very welcome development in helping to reduce the costs associated with haulage, on the other, we have the position of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government which has locked down in its negotiations with the representative body of the tyre industry. I had the opportunity, with one of the Taoiseach's backbenchers, to meet some of the senior officials before the summer.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Was it Deputy James Bannon?

Deputy Robert Troy: Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy No. It was Deputy Patrick O'Donovan from Limerick-----

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny An enterprising young man.

Deputy Robert Troy: Information on Robert Troy Zoom on Robert Troy -----who was aware of this issue because of representations made by a large employer in that area. Perhaps the Taoiseach is not aware of it. To be fair, I do not expect him to be aware of every development in every Department. However, although this is a very positive measure, it is important, when one Department brings forward positive measures, that another does not bring forward others that will take the money away.

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