Sunday 25 September 2016

Fears of diesel and road tax hikes prompt warning

Published 07/09/2016 | 02:30

The motor industry is concerned about the threat of UK car imports
The motor industry is concerned about the threat of UK car imports

The twin threats of Budget tax increases and soaring UK used imports are being highlighted by the motor industry as it urges Finance Minister Michael Noonan to tread warily with any plans to squeeze more income from the sector.

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The threats are recognised in the statement accompanying last week's new-car registration figures from SIMI.

Its director general Alan Nolan said: "The potential for post-Brexit Sterling exchange rates to drain business away from the Irish domestic economy was highlighted by the increase of 76pc in the number of imported used cars in July."

He said it was 'clear' that the last thing the industry or motorists need at this stage is any "further damaging tax increase" in the Budget.

There have been reports and rumours of increases on diesel fuel and road tax being in the pipeline.

But SIMI says such increases, especially at a time of crippling insurance costs for so many car owners, "would be damaging and extremely ill-conceived".

It is reckoned that new-car registrations to date have generated €1.2bn in VRT and VAT receipts for the Exchequer.

Registrations for August were up 14pc (7,313) while sales for the first eight months have increased by 19pc (138,538) compared with the corresponding period last year (116,195).

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