Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.04 14 Oct 2020


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An Independent TD for Kerry says changes to vehicle registration tax and other budget measures mean the NCT should be scrapped

Michael Healy-Rae was speaking after a raft of changes in Budget 2021, which would also see carbon tax increased.

Motor tax rates are unchanged for almost all cars - but the most pollutant cars in the post-2008 regime will see increased taxes.

The changes to vehicle registration tax (VRT) regime are to be based on emissions, with the changes aimed at incentivising people to buy low emission cars.

There will also be changes to reliefs for plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Deputy Healy-Rae told Pat Kenny: "There are many aspects of this budget that I would obviously welcome, investments that I would welcome.

"But at the same time then I have grave concerns as to how this budget - and very importantly the legislation that is actually being enacted which is going to tie up future governments and future politicians and future ministers for finance with regards to the carbon taxes that are going to be piled on for the next nine or 10 years.

"This is a direct attack on rural Ireland and on people living outside of the pale.

"And what I mean by that is you have many, many thousands and thousands of people as we are speaking who are driving along in cars.

"Remember now, the NCT should actually be done away with after yesterday's budget - it should be scrapped because it is no longer valid."

"If you are driving an older car or an older jeep and it passes its NCT and you go away to your garage, you get your certification and that vehicle is road-worthy: it does not matter whether that vehicle is five, 10, 15 or 20 years old".

"People have to realise - and Government have to realise - that if you tell people we're increasing the tax, we're increasing the excise on petrol and diesel to ensure that they're trying to create an environment where people won't have older cars then they should actually do away with the NCT, because it shouldn't exist.

"Because what they're telling those people is no matter how good the cars are, how road-worthy they are, they actually don't want them on the road.

"And that is wrong, and to be putting everybody into electric cars at this time is actually wrong.

'Unfairly affects rural areas'

"Make sure to remind the people that a Government tax strategy committee have recently issued a report, saying one of their recommendations is going to be to put an excise duty on ESB - on electricity - to compensate for the loss of revenue that will be collected in excise duty from people swapping from diesel and petrol to electric cars.

"So in other words: if you do - question mark - the right thing, you're going to be penalised for doing so".

He said the 'polluter pays' principle is not a fair approach.

"It adversely affects and unfairly affects people living in rural areas."

"You have no choice... you have to travel everywhere you're going and you must go there under your own steam.

"With all the best intentions in the world, there is no rural transport network for those people."

"People have to make their own way - and we can't cycle on bicycles."

"This is the tail wagging the dog: this budget yesterday was Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agreeing to be subservient to the Green agenda and saying 'Right, just for power we're going to do exactly what you want us to do - even though it's impractical and it's against people living in rural areas'".

Main image: Photo shows Land Rover cars at a Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Britain. Picture by: Tim Ireland/Xinhua

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Budget 2021 Budget Measures Carbon Tax Electric Cars Michael Healy-rae NCT Pat Kenny VRT

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