Sinn Féin MP for Newry Armagh Conor Murphy has stated that move by the British Government to introduce see charge of up to £1000 a year to truck drivers traveling from the 26 counties to the north of Ireland fly in the face efforts to boost the economy across the island of Ireland.
Speaking today Mr Murphy said:“This move will in no way help to boost economic recovery across the island of Ireland.
“The Tory led government have stated they are introducing this charge in order to kick start the economy yet it is another glaring example of policy being made in Westminster with no consideration given to economic conditions in the north of Ireland.
“To charge hauliers up to £1,000 a driver per year to enter the north from the 26 counties will place a huge amount of strain on already very tight operating margin for hauliers. The calls for a reciprocal move from the Irish Haulier Association for a similar charge for drivers from the north will not ease the situation.
“Haulage firms are already hard pressed given the economic downturn and the high price of fuel. To place £1,000 per driver on top of this is simply ignoring these facts. It will inevitably lead to some firms going out of business.
“The British government need to exempt the haulage traffic on the island of Ireland from these charges. At the North South Ministerial Council one of the main thrusts is to remove barriers to trade on an all-Ireland basis in order to help to build the economy across the island. Taxes such as this will only have the opposite effect.”