IRELAND’S representative on the European Parliament Transport Committee, MEP Jim Higgins has today called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to do “whatever it takes” to ensure that the new UK truck tax which he described as “discriminatory” does not come into effect on April 1.
“I have discussed the matter with Leo Varadkar over the past number of months, and he has been successful in getting small sections of the A3 near Clones exempted, but it is not enough. The Taoiseach now needs to tell the UK that the charge is going to hurt Irish hauliers, and furthermore that it is discriminatory. The Government should examine the possibility of lodging a complaint with the European Commission on the grounds of discrimination, since the tax will affect Republic of Ireland registered trucks, but not NI registered trucks.”
“The Government has to send a clear unambiguous signal to London that this kind of discrimination is not acceptable.”
“We need a proper solution which means that Irish hauliers are not paying a charge to use NI roads, when their NI counterparts are effectively avoiding the charge to use the exact same road, just because of their place of registration.”
Mr Higgins added, “I have already written to Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, and the Internal Market Commissioner, Michel Barnier on the issue. I believe this tax is unfair, discriminatory and against EU rules. Next week I will discuss the matter with the Chair of the European Parliament Transport Committee to see what action they might take.”