Irish commercial vehicle motor tax ‘discriminatory’

Ireland’s largest freight transport association has called for the scrapping of commercial vehicle tax, saying it is “discriminatory” against efficient operators.

FTA Ireland said it is seeking a “meaningful response” to its objections from the Department of Finance and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Speaking at the association’s annual Transport Manager Conference in Enfield, County Meath on March 26, FTAI general manager Neil McDonnell said the current method of assessment was “impractical”.

Mr McDonnell said current checks are based on unladen vehicle weight, which he claimed is “obsolete, impractical, and discriminatory against the most efficient vehicle operators”.

“It is nonsensical for the Irish Government to set up a Low Pay Commission looking at low wages in the Irish economy, while at the same time encouraging freight operators to move their operations abroad,” he said.

“Motor tax, as it is, currently structured for the commercial sector should be abolished, and a road charging mechanism should be applied to all operators – domestic and foreign – as applies in the UK and on the continent.”

Mr McDonnell added that the existing regulations were producing revenue-negative effects, as international operators reflag vehicles to the UK and eastern Europe, where lower vehicle taxes and pay rates apply.