Tuesday 28 February 2017

First out of the gate - but Renua message is weak

John Downing

John Downing

Ms Creighton with her manifesto. Frank McGrath
Ms Creighton with her manifesto. Frank McGrath

It is 40 years since any politician or party dared to promise to abolish car tax. The 1977 election "no-more-car-tax" promise was among a glittering array of pledges best called "the sun, the moon and the stars". And that Fianna Fáil give-away triggered a two-decade recession, while car tax was back within a few short years.

Yesterday, Lucinda Creighton's Renua Ireland boldly revisited the car tax issue. But she used a safety net.

On page 16 of its election manifesto - the first and by far the earliest - Renua promises to replace car tax "with a simple levy on fuel". It's "pay-as-you-drive", with hauliers and public transport getting special treatment.

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