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Driven mad by road tax

Sir -- Travelling on the roads of Ireland, it is hard to see how the Government can ask drivers to pay road tax. Road tax is a tax that must be paid to have the privilege of driving on a public road. These same roads hold some of the most dangerous potholes you will ever see and in some cases, unimaginable driving surfaces. If drivers are expected to pay road tax, then in return they should expect to find smooth, safe driving surfaces no matter where they go in the country.

Drivers in Ireland have to contend with burst tyres and other car damage as a direct result of bad road quality. All of this costs money to repair, so on top of tax bills for motorists, they have to spend up to €100 for a new tyre or pay obscene amounts of money to repair damaged car parts and restore broken body work.

Given the current economic situation, people are finding it hard enough already to run a car without having extra repair bills piled on top of rising fuel costs and staggering tax payments. Motor tax should be proportional to the standard of the roads and if that was the case, Irish drivers would not be paying very much.

Our neighbours in the North have the luxury of driving on some of the best roads in Europe, while we are left despairing in the hope of vast improvements to our own roads. During the Celtic Tiger, motorway after motorway was built using mindless amounts of taxpayers' money while the secondary country roads were left in fatal condition.

Most motorists would have no problem paying road tax if the quality of the roads matched the enormity of their tax bills every year.

Justin Kelly,

Edenderry, Co Offaly

Sunday Independent