Sinn Féin Vice-Chair of the Enterprise Committee, Phil Flanagan MLA has reiterated the call on DOE Minister Mark H Durkan to lobby support from his Executive colleagues to have all Driver and Vehicle Licencing (DVA) responsibility transferred to the Executive.
Mr Flanagan said:
“The closure of the DVA Offices across the North and the resultant loss of hundreds of jobs is just another example of why it is important that maximum fiscal powers should be transferred to the assembly.
“When closure of DVA services across the North was first proposed Sinn Féin called on the then Minister Alex Attwood to seek support from his Executive Colleagues to have all Driver and Vehicle Licencing (DVA) responsibility transferred to the Executive.
“I am now calling on the current Minister, Mark H Durkan to take up this proposal and enter discussion with DFP Minister Simon Hamilton and the rest of the Executive to have DVA responsibilities brought under Assembly control.
“The registration and licensing of vehicles and the collection of vehicle excise duty (“motor tax”) are “excepted matters” under the provisions of current legislation.
“Since the other responsibilities of the Agency - Driver licensing, Driver and Vehicle testing, Taxi and Bus licensing as well as on-the-road enforcement activities, are already matters for the Assembly it makes sense to bring the remaining aspects of the DVA under the one umbrella.
“Just as with corporation tax, airline passenger tax and other fiscal items it makes administrative and economic sense that the full portfolio of DVA responsibilities be brought under control of the local Assembly.” CRÍOCH