Thursday 17 August 2017

Farmer challenges Gormley over tax

Ray Managh

Environment Minister John Gormley cares more about rubbish than about the people of rural Ireland, the High Court heard yesterday.

Co Tipperary farmer John Burke said he intended asking the court for leave to legally challenge the validity of the minister's decision to significantly raise road tax on vans used occasionally for social purposes.

Mr Burke told Mr Justice Peter Charleton that on August 23, Mr Gormley had indicated his intention to direct local authorities to force owners of commercial jeeps and vans to sign a declaration not to use them for social or domestic purposes. Otherwise, they could face a major hike in the road tax on the vehicle. In the event of breaching such an undertaking, which would have to be given to the gardai, they could face having the van or jeep seized.

Mr Burke, of Duncummin House, Emly, Co Tipperary, said the enforced signing of such an undertaking in a garda station was an attack on those operating and living in rural Ireland.

He said it seemed the minister had a vendetta against citizens living in rural Ireland and it would appear he was more concerned about rubbish than people.

Seized

Mr Burke said the vans and jeeps concerned were both designed and insured for commercial use and contained capacity for the driver and only one passenger.

It seemed that if such a van or jeep was used for a Sunday drive the vehicle could be seized.

Judge Charleton told Mr Burke he was short on documentation, including a copy of the minister's order. He could return later with fuller documentation to seek leave for judicial review of the minister's proposals.

Mr Burke said he would be back with them.

Irish Independent

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