McElduff criticises levy on cross border hauliers
Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has criticised the environment minister for supporting a controversial levy on hauliers crossing the border.
Speaking after the environment committee voted to introduce a levy on hauliers crossing the border and a financial penalty for non-compliance, the West Tyrone MLA said;
"The Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Levy, which was imposed by Westminster and now backed by the environment minister, is a barrier to north/south mobility and trade.
"This legislation does not take into account the particular circumstances of the island of Ireland.
"It penalises hauliers from the 26 counties who come to do business in the North.
"I and my Sinn Féin colleagues on the environment committee voted against the introduction of this unfair legislation. It was disappointing to see SDLP MLAs backing legislation which is in violation of the spirit of north/south co-operation.
"We will now be faced with the situation where hauliers will face border patrols, enforced and implemented by Mark H Durkan's department.
"The development of the all-Ireland economy is key to our growing the economy across the island.
"We should be seeking to remove barriers to assist the all-Ireland economy, not adding more.
"We will be using the legislative process to prevent this unfair and unnecessary legislation being passed by the Assembly."