Tullow and Power set to celebrate placing
In an effort to sweeten the pill, the Government is expected to announce a new registration system. Instead of your new car being registered as a 13-D or 13-G for example, it will be a 131-D or 131-G if purchased before July, when a second registration period will begin, bringing in 132 plates. The move neatly sidesteps fears within the trade that superstition might get the better of buyers next year. It would also address a long-held motor trade concern to even out the annual sales rush in the first quarter, where 80 per cent of new car sales occur.
Admittedly “sales rush” is not a term commonly heard in the motor trade these days. The reality is that even changing the number plate system will not lift new car sales out of the doldrums next year.
Most senior figures in the motor trade expect next year’s new car sales to total 75,000, down from 80,000 this year and 89,878 in 2011. That’s a long way from the heady days of 2007, when 186,238 new cars were sold.
Riddle of the multiple Ministers solved
How many Government Ministers does it take to announce the separation of one State-owned company from another? The answer yesterday for the announcement of the separation of Shannon Airport was four.
In a compact room at the Conference Centre Dublin, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar (right), Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton and Labour Party Ministers of State Alan Kelly and Jan O’Sullivan confirmed what was probably the worst-kept secret in Cabinet history. There were also a handful of coalition backbench TDs on hand to lend their views helpfully to the waiting media.
That it took so many Ministers to announce the move seems remarkable. Such is the nature of coalition politics. With Fine Gael holding the two senior ministry positions, Labour didn’t want to be left out, especially when there were 3,500 new jobs to be announced.
Last Tuesday, the Cabinet gave its approval to the separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority and its eventual merger with Shannon Development’s land bank. But it waited until yesterday’s conference on aviation policy before confirming its plan.
Earlier, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary welcomed Shannon’s separation from the “dead hand” of the DAA but “putting it into another State entity is a bad idea”. In a nutshell, O’Leary believes the Government should privatise Shannon Airport and tell the trade unions to get stuffed. He wouldn’t be alone in that view.
Limerick TD O’Sullivan was having none of that. Playing to her union constituency, she emphasised how “glad” she was Shannon would remain in public ownership. Predictable stuff, really.
Will the plan work? The unions certainly don’t think so.
The posse of Ministers acknowledged that there are risks involved but said the status quo wasn’t an option. They are right on that score.
It will be interesting to see how many of them tog out for the media if the plan turns out to be a flop.