Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Motor taxation another stealth tax used by the Government

18 February, 2004


Sinn Féin TD for Louth and spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan responded today to the increase in motor taxation saying it "represents yet another attempt by this government to raise revenue through inequitable taxes."

Deputy Morgan said:

"Sinn Féin has time and again addressed the Government's habit of addressing revenue shortfalls through stealth taxes rather than through the general taxation system. There is no concern at Government level of the impact that measures such as this unwarranted increase in motor tax will have on the less well off. All policies and in particular tax policies should be poverty-proofed to asses their impact.

"We strongly support public transport and believe that proper funding for public transport must be a government priority. This government needs to begin the process of enabling people to move away from the excessive use of private vehicles which is both damaging to the environment and causes huge traffic problems. However because this State has a severe deficiency of public transport - particularly in rural areas - people are unable to make the change to public transport. Rural citizens suffer disproportionately as a result of measures such as this motor tax increase as they have absolutely no choice but to use private transport. Young motorists in particular are currently crippled by insurance, tax and increasingly by tolls on the State's motorways.

"Rather than introducing this increased taxation on all motorists, the Minister should be introducing measures linked to usage, such as a carbon tax, which would encourage people to move towards public transport. Such a move is urgently needed to reduce CO2 emissions in this State, which have grown well beyond the limits permitted by the Kyoto protocol. The State is facing enormous fines or alternatively spending huge amounts of revenue on emissions trading.

This State should take its responsibilities seriously and should not resort solely to emission trading. The national exchequer will benefit from any actions which result in a reduction in emissions."ENDS

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