Motorists 'intensely annoyed' by motor tax hike

 

The AA has criticised the Government for "attempting to sneak in" the increase in motor tax two days after the Budget was announced in the Dáil.

Reacting to the news that motor tax was to increase by 12 per cent from January 1st, Mr Conor Faughnan of the AA said: "It is intensely annoying for motorists. They might have had the honesty to announce this in the House.

"I have had a string of angry phone calls this morning from AA members. It is galling that they [the Government] take €4 billion off motorists per annum and then waste it in large amounts through cost over-runs and poor financial discipline," he said.

Mr Faughnan said the increase would be easier for motorists to take if the money was not "frittered away" by the Government.

Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Mr Eamon Gilmore, described the increase as evidence of the Government's "Budget by instalments".

He said: "The Government is clearly intent on announcing its cutbacks and hikes on a day-by-day basis. It was an increase in the drug-refund threshold on Tuesday, the meanest budget for years on Wednesday, the scrapping of the social housing scheme on Thursday, and now a quite staggering increase in motor tax today. What is on the way next week?

"The only pothole that this money is going to fill, is the hole left in Local Authority finances by the Government," Mr Gilmore added.

Fine Gael's spokesman on the environment Mr Bernard Allen said the rise would "hit every household in the country and contribute to soaring inflation, which is set to reach the 5 per cent mark within months.

"The increase in motor tax is needed to make up for cutbacks in the road maintenance programme announced some weeks ago by the Government," he added.