The Sinn Féin candidate for the Midlands North West EU constituency, Matt Carthy, today (Sunday) attended and addressed a large meeting in Letterkenny organised by local Hauliers to highlight the impending imposition by Westminster of a levy on HGV’s crossing the border.
Carthy was accompanied at the meeting by West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff and party councillors Gerry McMonagle & Gary Doherty (Donegal) and Jay McCauley (Tyrone).
Speaking afterwards Cllr. Carthy said:
“Under new legislation being introduced by the British Government, all HGVs crossing the border from this April will be liable to pay up £10 a day. As a representative from the border region I know the potential damage this will cause. However, today’s meeting was an opportunity to hear at first hand the devastating impact this will have by the people whose livelihoods stand to be impacted immediately.
“Areas like Donegal will be particularly affected by this regressive measure but this will have the potential to cost jobs across the state and will certainly damage the development of the all-Ireland economy.
“This levy will penalise already hard-pressed small and medium businesses. The high price of fuel coupled with this new charge will negatively impact on businesses that utilise haulage firms. Inevitably the costs would eventually come back to hit the average consumer.
“The levy has the potential to separate the northern economy from the rest of the island, at a time when the emphasis should be placed upon building island wide trade which generates £2.3 billion for both economies on the island. Increasing barriers to trade will harm both economies.
“Sinn Féin has been vocal in its opposition to this move and our representatives, north and south have been to the forefront in highlighting the issue at every elected forum.
“The British government needs to amend the legislation to exempt the north from this regressive charge. The Fine Gael government must ensure that they pressurise their British counterparts to stop this charge which has the potential to severely affect the future viability of small and medium businesses especially along the already struggling border region.”