Tuesday 23 January 2018

Motor industry in plea for scrappage scheme extension

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

OVER 3,000 new jobs have been created in the car industry as a result of the government scrappage scheme, which the motor industry wants to see extended for another six months.

It says that the scheme has proved a winner for everyone as it has sold 50pc more cars than last year, and the government's tax take on these will be €598m, up by €134m over 2009.

Official figures from the CSO also show that employment in the motor sector soared from 31,500 at the end of 2009 to 34,700 in June, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry said (SIMI).

The improvement meant it was in a position to announce yesterday that it would be taking on 150 new apprentices in conjunction with FAS.

However, the recovery remained fragile with a number of companies still going out of business this year and there were compelling reasons to keep the scrappage incentives going, it said.

"A continuation of scrappage for a very limited period through the key selling season of January to June would copperfasten the recovery of businesses and employment in the sector," SIMI said in their preBudget submission published yesterday.

Over 83,000 cars have already been sold this year and sales are expected to top 87,000 by the end of December, compared with just 57,118 in 2009, according to SIMI, whose figures for sales to date are backed up by official CSO data.

Some 14,000 of completed sales were purchased under the scrappage scheme -- where a motorist trades in a car over 10 years old for a new model and receive a €1,500 tax rebate on the purchase price.

SIMI president Eddie Murphy said these extra car sales meant that the scrappage scheme directly delivered €54m in revenue to the government -- which despite the rebate still gets nearly €4,000 in tax per car from drivers.

However, asked if he would support extending the scrappage scheme, a spokesman for Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe said that it would be premature to commit to particular schemes in particular sectors at this stage when all budgetary matters were still being considered.

Irish Independent

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