Monday 22 April 2019

Truckers relieved at diesel tax freeze, but regret getting no fuel rebates

Case study: Haulier

Mixed feelings: Truck fleet owner Ger Hyland was glad of no rise in carbon tax, but is still concerned at the high cost of running his business. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Mixed feelings: Truck fleet owner Ger Hyland was glad of no rise in carbon tax, but is still concerned at the high cost of running his business. Photo: Damien Eagers/INM
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

A rollback on the mooted carbon tax increase in the Budget has come as a relief to businesses where fuel is a major cost.

The decision not to increase the carbon tax has been particularly welcomed by firms operating in the transport industry.

"We are relieved that we didn't get it, with diesel around 30pc of our overall costs," said truck driver Ger Hyland. "Fuel has already gone up 14c over the past 10 months.

"Diesel is still cheaper than petrol, but it's rising on a weekly basis."

Ger, who runs Hyland Transport with a fleet of 24 trucks in Rosenallis, Co Laois, said the smallest increase in the cost of fuel amounts to thousands of euros and must be made up elsewhere.

"Fuel increases of just one cent equate to about €500 a month per truck, and when we're turning out 20 trucks, that's an extra €10,000 a month.

"It would close down a lot of transport companies. They just can't absorb fuel costs, and with Brexit coming down the line."

However, while the unchanged carbon tax has gone down well with drivers, the Government's failure to provide fuel rebates for industries that can't switch to renewable forms of energy has been criticised.

"In order for companies like mine to stay going, we have to get a fuel rebate," Ger added.

"The impact on our industry going forward is that we have had no recognition, and with Brexit coming down the track, this is disastrous for hauliers.

"Electric-powered vehicles out there so far are not advanced enough to power them with the infrastructure that is here now."

Climate at a glance

Carbon Tax

No change. The levy remains at €20 per tonne, meaning no increase in the cost of motoring or home heating fuels this time around.

VRT

Relief extended for hybrid vehicles to the end of 2019.

Diesel

Surcharge of 1pc on new diesel vehicles across all VRT bands.

Forestry

€103.5m in grants for forestry.

Agriculture

Introduction of a Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) to improve the carbon efficiency of beef production.

Haulage

Accelerated capital allowance scheme for gas-propelled vehicles to encourage a switch away from diesel.

Irish Independent

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