The Sinn Féin candidate for the EU Midlands Northwest constituency, Matt Carthy, has reiterated his party’s opposition to the proposed levy on HGVs crossing the border which is soon to be imposed by the British government.
The proposed charge, he said, is the latest example of the need for the transfer of fiscal powers to the north.
Speaking in Monaghan today Carthy highlighted the detrimental impact that such a charge would have on border economies:
“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the imposition of this proposed HGV levy which would see HGVs crossing the border from this April liable to pay up to £10 a day.
“As a representative from the border region I know all too well the potential damage this will cause. The imposition of this levy would have a detrimental effect on the expanding island-wide trade which currently generates £2.3 billion for this island and could dissuade investment in northern operations by southern based parent companies. This would have a particularly negative impact on the agri-food sector - our fastest growing sector north and south.
“Sinn Féin has been proactively campaigning for the north to be exempt from this regressive charge. Conor Murphy MP has travelled to London to lobby politicians and the British Secretary of State Theresa Villers for an exemption. Pearse Doherty TD also took part in a delegation which met with Transport Minister Leo Varadker on the issue.
“I am reiterating my call on the British government to amend the legislation to exempt the north from this regressive charge. The Irish government must also ensure that they challenge 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.
“It is time to focus on building, not splitting the island economy. A single island economy for all citizens across Ireland would provide the opportunity for fair and harmonised progression taxation, regulation and trade. It would provide the tools to create greater opportunities for growth, harmonise workers’ rights and create a better business climate for advancement of entrepreneurial spirit north and south.”