Thursday, October 15, 2015

Road Haulage Lobby Says Irish Budget Has Done Little for Freight Industry

Recommendations on Illegal Alternative Fuels Ignored
Shipping News Feature
IRELAND – Despite a series of tax cuts and an increase in government spending announced this week, and a promise that the ‘boom and bust’ years are over, the Irish pre-election budget has disappointed at least one section of the community with the Irish Freight Transport Association (FTAI) expressing dismay at what it termed ‘missed opportunities’ as far as the road haulage industry is concerned.

Having exited a time of austerity Ireland now claims to be Europe’s fastest growing economy, but the FTAI says the budget has left the industry frustrated with a lack of measures to tackle anti-fuel laundering, or encouraging the use of alternative road fuels which the organisation had lobbied for. The FTAI made a detailed Pre-Budget Submission to Government in July, highlighting 17 areas the Government needed to address if it was to support the transport and logistics sectors and maintain employment levels, but General Manager Neil McDonnell said:

“Overall FTA Ireland is deeply disappointed by the Governments Budget Statement. The issue of fuel laundering continuing to blight the countryside, as well as fair competition in freight and passenger transport sectors – no new measures were announced to tackle it. Additionally, despite the Department of Transport announcing a public consultation on the issue of the use of alternative road fuels, the Budget statement ignored this.

“The freight industry can only commit to investment in cleaner transport technologies if Government defines the road ahead in terms of asset and fuel costs, and accommodative tax policies. FTAI’s overall impression is that there have been several missed opportunities. While the headline from a fleet operator’s perspective is the very substantial reduction in motor tax, operators are also substantial employers. Their interest in Budget 2016 extended beyond the single issue of commercial vehicle road tax.”