Driver licence to cost €55 next year
The cost of a 10-year driver licence will rise to €55 from next January, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said.
He added that a three-year licence, available only to those over 60, would cost €35 and a one-year €25. Responsibility for the driver licence service would be transferred to the Road Safety Authority from January 12th. The new fees would reduce the authority’s dependence on exchequer funding.
He said the new fee compared favourably with the €85 cost in Spain, €62 in Britain and more than €100 in Australia.
“It is also better value than a ten-year Irish passport, which costs €80,” Mr Varadkar added. “The new fees represent the first licence fee increase since 2001.” Mr Varadkar, speaking during the budget debate, said there had been a one-off provision of an additional €36 million to CIÉ this year, and the company was currently preparing a revised five-year business plan to address its financial situation.
“The emergency bailout cannot be repeated next year, because I just do not have the money,” he added.
“However, it has provided some breathing space to the CIÉ group to implement its recovery plan by selling assets, rationalising services, securing new borrowing facilities and reducing labour and other costs.” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the budget was about building on the progress of the past 18 months to create more jobs and support small Irish businesses. It introduced further measures to support Irish business and sustain economic recovery.
“As in our first budget, we have not raised income tax,” Mr Kenny added.
“We want to make work pay for families.” He said that supporting small and medium-sized businesses, which had a presence in every townland across the country, was absolutely essential to get Ireland working again.
“Therein lies the key to Ireland’s future prosperity,” he added. “The 10-point tax plan for small business is therefore a central feature of this year’s budget.”
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the first step on the route to recovery was to restore financial stability and rebuild the economy’s creditworthiness.
“Such was the extent of the property bubble that this year, even after all the consolidation we have done, the Government will take in €12.6 billion less that it will spend,” he added.
“We will borrow €42 million per day to finance the State.” Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Fine Gael and Labour had abandoned their promises and introduced by far the most regressive and unfair budget in many years, as shown in independent assessments.