Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Road Haulage Operators May Register Overseas as Taxes Rise

Irish Road Toll Hikes Slated as VAT Increases
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – With a 2% Budget increase in VAT from New Years Day plus higher fuel costs, not for the first time the country’s hauliers are calling for blood as tolls on the M3 Clonee-Kells and M4 Kilcock-Kinnegad rise in line with the consumer price index. Many of Ireland’s larger road haulage groups are investigating the possibility of relocating to the UK or even Eastern Europe. The cost of a year’s road tax on the heaviest class of articulated vehicle in the UK is £1,850 per year compared with up to €4,833 in the Republic. Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) president Eoin Gavin commented:

"It's €598 to register a truck in the North. It's €3,440 to register here. There are 300 hauliers in the south-east looking to re-register in Bulgaria. We've given strong proposals to Government on funding, and they're ignoring them."

Last month the IRHA requested an investigation after reports that there might be up to eight further toll locations installed on the highways to generate additional revenue. The proposals have been discussed for months and include the suggestion that they will involve Dublin’s ring road, an idea met with derision in many quarters and unacceptable to the haulage lobby who point out the likelihood that this move would increase inner city traffic – the very thing the ring road is supposed to counter.

The IRHA has long expounded the need for a Eurovignette system to collect all road tolls evenly across all users. The organisation quoted a report from the Irish Exporters Association which indicated that EU Directives issued recently might cost Irish exporters almost €100 million in extra charges at a time when Irish exports were achieving record levels reaching over €160 billion in 2010