Having worked closely with the Irish Road Haulage Association, I am delighted that road tax on lorries has been reduced from a maximum of €5195 to €900 in the Budget.
I had several meetings with the Association, as well as facilitating meetings between them and Government and advancing the case for lowering the tax.
By doing this, we are bringing our rates here in line with the UK and with Northern Ireland – where hauliers pay just €900 to tax a lorry which would cost €4,200 here.
I have worked closely with many hauliers on this issue and have lobbied hard for this change to be made and I am delighted it has now been corrected.
The previous rates were having a very negative impact on the sector resulting in hauliers in Ireland unable to compete with out-of-state operators, particularly from Northern Ireland.
This was putting jobs at risk and it was creating an unfair playing field we could no longer stand over.
I am glad we have been able to inject a shot of confidence into the sector to invest and continue to facilitate our export led economy. I want to thank especially Minister Paschal Donohoe and Minister Michael Noonan in facilitating this change today and acknowledge the time and thought they gave to this matter.