Monday 20 November 2017

Budget was a shocker for motorists

Motor tax hike for post-2008 cars was a betrayal of trust, writes Campbell Spray

THE Budget was pathetic, unimaginative, unfair and economically unso-und. The Cabinet should collectively feel pretty poor about its lack of vision or new thinking; senior civil servants should hang their heads in shame. And that's the overall package. As far as the motorist is concerned, it was another squeeze and hit without anything back.

Motor tax for pre-2008 cars is up 7.5 per cent – but a bigger percentage than that on the majority of post-2008 cars was cynical and a betrayal of trust.

It is outrageous that someone who bought a very clean car with 110-120 CO2 in the last few years is being hit with a 25 per cent increase in road tax while it is only four per cent for somebody with a CO2 of 225-plus.

That there was no increase in the price of petrol and diesel is welcome, as is the introduction of two registration periods. Both were no-brainers, yet the lack of clear thinking towards our transport needs is highlighted by Dublin Bus massively increasing fares this month and the five kilometre BXD Luas link-up of the two lines taking some five years to build.

The Government's decision to retain the €1,500 rebate on hybrid vehicles has to be welcomed as I believe this is the way forward until the range anxiety over electric vehicles can be properly addressed.

As my colleague Martin Brennan reported last week, the big players are pushing ahead with hybrid and Toyota, for one, is now offering a 'hybrid' option across its Yaris and Auris range.

Extrapolating this across all motor manufacturers who are offering 'hybrid' options, Dave Shannon, Toyota's managing director, predicts that some 1,500 hybrid models will be sold in Ireland in the coming year, making 'hybrid' by far the most popular option in the move to sustainable motoring.

But if hybrids become too popular I'm sure this Government will put a hefty tax on them.

Indo Motoring

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