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Taxpayer chipping in to help buy high-end luxury sportscars – Darren O’Rourke TD

22 February, 2021 - by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today said the current grant system for electric vehicles needs a total overhaul, as figures he has obtained shows taxpayer’s money is being used to subsidise the purchase of high-end luxury sportscars.

Speaking today, the Meath East TD said;

“Figures from the Department of Transport show that at the end of 2020, 96% of cars on our roads were still petrol and diesel models.

“This highlights a serious problem with the state’s ambition to have a million EVs on the road in the next decade and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030.

It’s clear the current approach comprising of a punitive carbon tax and a grant system that still leaves EVs out of the price range of most people, has not worked, and will not work going forward.

“We believe the system needs a total re-think.

“EV grants should be focused on supporting those on lower incomes upgrading to an electric vehicle, not to subsidise luxury high-end models for individuals who can easily afford them without grant support.

Figures we have obtained from the SEAI, who administer the EV grant scheme, show that in 2020 the taxpayer helped buy a 7 Jaguars, 18 Porsches, 77 Landrovers and a BMW i8, which retails for about €130,000.

“If you lucky enough to be able to spend €130,000 on a luxury sportscar, you don’t need the taxpayer to help chip in with the cost.

“It’s a farcical situation.

“The current system doesn’t help the vast majority of workers and families, as EVs remain out of their financial reach. A new approach is needed.

“As part of their pandemic stimulus programme, Germany recently increased their grants for fully electric cars up to €9,000 and importantly included a cap on the maximum cost of the car at €40,000.

“France have introduced a €1,000 grant for second hand electric cars and increased financial support for new models to €7,000, again only for cars costing under a certain amount.

“The Minister for Transport needs to address this urgently.

“We are miles off course for transitioning to electric vehicles, the current system is not working, and the millionaire motorist grant for high end luxury sportscars needs to be scrapped.”

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