Alan Kelly under fire for 'stealth tax' adding €12 to set of tyres
The Government has been accused of introducing a new "stealth tax" with plans to impose a levy on the purchase of tyres for cars, tractors and trucks.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly is under fire over the plans, which mean it will cost an additional €12 to replace a set of tyres on a family car.
Farmers and agricultural contractors could face increases of €160 to the cost of replacing a full set of tyres.
The levy is to pay for the tyres to be recycled, but the Independent Tyre Wholesalers' and Retailers' Association has claimed that the move would cost 1,000 jobs.
A spokesman said: "This is yet another new stealth tax which the general public are not aware is coming down the road.
"What the minister is proposing is going to impact upon anyone buying new tyres in the Republic. If this happens, then we are talking about local dealers closing and jobs being lost."
But a spokesman for the Mr Kelly dismissed claims of mass job losses and said it was a "myth" that tyre sellers across the Border would have a competitive advantage.
"Quite simply, the tyre industry is being asked to do what all other sectors have done, which is to manage the waste that the products they place on the market generates. "
The State has a serious problem with waste tyres and the industry must face up to that problem, the spokesman added.
He added that there was already a charge imposed on tyre sellers to deal with the disposal of used ones, but despite this, up to half of waste tyres were not accounted for, with many illegally dumped.
The charge, due to come in by the middle of next year, will require retailers to pay a disposal charge of €2.80 per tyre.
The charge will be passed on to customers and will add almost €12 to the cost of replacing four car tyres.