The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. has held a very constructive meeting with representatives from the Irish Road Haulage Association.
The discussion focused on the cost of motor tax and other charges on larger Irish Heavy Goods Vehicles and in particular the differential between costs for operators in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, in recognition of the challenges facing the haulage sector, established an interdepartmental working group on HGV motor tax earlier this year. The Group is reviewing the way commercial vehicle motor tax is calculated and the levels of motor tax paid by the industry, including potential rebalancing of the commercial motor tax bands to give more favourable rates to HGVs which cause less damage to the roadway or to the environment; replacement of the Irish system of classifying commercial vehicles by unladen weight with the European standard of Gross Design Vehicle Weight and the introduction of a pay-as-you-go charge for HGVs.
The Group will issue a consultation paper by the end of November 2014, seeking the views of hauliers and other stakeholders on the options for reform of the commercial vehicle motor tax regime. On completion of the consultation process, the Group will submit a report for Ministers with proposals for changes to the commercial vehicle motor tax regime.
Both Ministers recognise the importance of the haulage industry to Ireland as a small, open, exporting economy, and agree with the Irish Road Haulage Association that HGVs of over 12 tonnes have significant motor tax charges. The Minister for Finance committed to reducing road tax on vehicles in this category, starting in next year’s Budget, with a tapering of the reduction for vehicles below 12,000 kg.
Any further changes to the motor tax regime based on the work of the Interdepartmental Group may also be introduced through the Budgetary process.