The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) is threatening more protests strikes across the country if the Government doesn’t take urgent action to address the road tax system.
The IRHA says that its protest action in Dublin Port on Monday is just phase one of the Association’s efforts to bring about a rate reduction on commercial vehicle road tax.
The action in the Port, which involved IRHA Council members on foot, created considerable traffic difficulties inside and outside of the Port complex. The Association decided to take this action at a Council meeting on Saturday evening following the lack of industry recognition in the recent budget.
As a result of the Dublin Port action, the Department of Transport issued a comment stating that they were seeking to remedy the industry difficulty on road tax with an inter-departmental Working Group outlining options to the Minister.
In response to the statement from the Department, President of the IRHA Eoin Gavin said: “While the Department state that there is an inter-departmental Working Group in place the Association is concerned with the complete lack of evidence that this group has made any progress on the matter.”
He added: “There is no substance to the statement made by the Department this morning and it will not influence our strategy going forward. The industry needs the Government to fast track efforts to overhaul road tax for trucks in the south. They have been talking about changing the road tax system for the last four years and to date have produced nothing which assists the haulage operator at ground level. The industry has had enough, we need action now, not more of the same old message from the Department.”
“Operators, where possible, are ‘reflagging’ to other jurisdictions to avoid the excessive road tax levels but that is not an option for everyone and quite frankly why should an indigenous haulage operator be forced to relocate because Government departments are doing nothing to alleviate this difficulty,” Gavin added.
The IRHA is calling for an urgent meeting with Minister Donohoe and Minister Noonan as any effort to reduce road tax for the industry will ultimately be a matter for the Minister for Finance. The IRHA is seeking the implementation of a commercial vehicle road tax structure which will allow Irish trucks to compete with out-of-state operators.