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Saturday 17 March 2018

Out-of-date tax disc puts brakes on Fine Gael

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

FINE GAEL has been left red-faced after a promotional van it was using for the upcoming Meath East by-election was found to have no tax paid on it.

It led to criticism that Fine Gael "tax the whole country but won't even tax their own van".

The van was branded with promotional stickers for the party's by-election candidate Helen McEntee, but a party spokeswoman said it was "immediately taken off the road" when found to be untaxed.

The spokeswoman also said the vehicle, which has "Vote 1 McEntee" written on it, had been "off the road" before the by-election campaign.

But, in a further embarrassment, it also comes as Environment Minister Phil Hogan is getting rid of the rule which allows for exemptions from motor tax for cars that are "off the road".

The Government hopes the move will yield €40m a year, and the legislation bringing in the change is due to come before the Dail soon.

"All tax will be paid on it," the Fine Gael spokeswoman said when asked about the van. "It was not on the road and it is used just for elections."

A voter spotted the tax disk in the front of the van, with the tax due to be paid last November.

A photo was being soon texted around, with the message "they tax the whole country but they won't even tax their own van" written across the picture.

In last December's Budget, the Government increased motor tax across the board.

Irish Independent

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