Motor tax reform to be delayed


A plan to tax vehicles on the basis of the emissions rather than on engine size has been delayed until mid-2008.

Changes to the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) system had been proposed in Budget 2007 and were expected to be introduced on January 1st 2008.

However, Minister for Finance and Tániste Brian Cowen admitted this week that the introduction of the reform is to be postponed in order to give members of the public enough time to get used to the changes.

In a response to parliamentary questions from Fine Gael's environment spokesperson, Phil Hogan, the Minister said public consultation had already taken place and added that a range of possible options were being considered.

"It is desirable that members of the public be given reasonable notice of any changes being introduced. Therefore it is proposed to provide for changes to the VRT system in the 2008 Finance Bill, with an implementation date of around mid 2008," said Mr Cowen.

Mr Hogan said today he was disappointed by the postponement, which would lead to difficulties for both the motor trade and purchasers of new cars.

"One would have assumed that the entry of the Green Party into Government would have expedited the introduction of this environmental reform but instead I find that the measure has been pushed off until the middle of next year."

He continued: "If the Greens have as much influence as they claim, it has to be asked how this important environmental measure has been allowed to slip onto the back burner. Actions speak louder than words."