Noonan critical of hauliers road tax protest

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Eoin Gavin of Eoin Gavin Transport, Bunratty
Eoin Gavin of Eoin Gavin Transport, Bunratty
Eoin Gavin of Eoin Gavin Transport, Bunratty

Kathy Masterson

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ROAD hauliers should not be protesting as they “interfered with an awful lot of hard-working people who were trying to get to work,” according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Following a protest led by Bunratty-based Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) President Eoin Gavin in Dublin Port this week, Minister Noonan said: “I don’t think they should be protesting. Unless we all pull together and respect each other’s difficulties, the country won’t advance.

“There was no increase in road tax of any sort in the Budget. There is an interdepartmental committee looking at the issues that the hauliers have drawn attention to this morning, and the interdepartmental committee has engaged with the hauliers association to try and bring forward solutions.”

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He added that he would like to address the issues through the interdepartmental committee, “but not on the basis of protest”.

However Mr Gavin said the protest was just the first phase of the Association’s campaign to bring about a rate reduction on commercial vehicle road tax.

He added: “The industry needs the Government to fast track efforts to overhaul road tax for trucks in the south. They have been talking about changing the road tax system for the last four years and to date have produced nothing which assists the haulage operator at ground level.”