Government must consider new taxes for 'polluting vehicles', says Cuffe

Government must consider new taxes for 'polluting vehicles', says Cuffe
Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Government must consider new taxes for "polluting vehicles" and should examine what grants are working if it wants to drive ahead with ambitious electric car plans over the next decade, says a Green Party MEP.

Green party MEP Ciarán Cuffe outlined the steps he believes are needed in response to a new report warning that the State faces a €1.5bn tax 'black hole' if it achieves its environment target of 840,000 electric cars on Irish roads by 2030.

In a detailed spending review published on Thursday evening, the Department of Public Expenditure said that while the growth in electric cars is good news for the environment, it poses potentially serious issues for the Irish economy.

Noting the increased demand for the eco-friendly vehicles, the review said that if the 2030 targets are met:

  • Motor, VRT and fuel tax intake slump by €1.5bn over the next decade

  • a €200m electric cars incentive budget due to last a decade may run out in 2021 due to increasing demands

  • and new taxes for fuelled petrol and diesel cars may be needed to balance the books.

    The suggestions have led to fears that the electric cars initiative may not be financially feasible in its current form.

    However, speaking to the Irish Examiner, Green party MEP Mr Cuffe said he believes the potential new taxes and grant cutbacks should be considered if they help with the environmental push: "We have to look very carefully at what delivers carbon reductions.

    The truth is there will be a shortfall in national finances. I suspect we will also have to look at an increase in taxes for polluting vehicles, to get a re-balancing of the tax system.

    "Transport is a huge contributor to climate change, so we should look quite carefully at public transport spending.

    "But we should also look at incentivising for people walking, cycling and using buses, and to look at what incentives work for electric vehicles," Mr Cuffe said.

    The Government's plan to increase the number of electric cars on Irish roads to 840,000 by the end of 2030 is a key part of its climate action plan report, which was published in June - just weeks after the "green wave" local and European elections.

  • More on this topic

    'There is no Planet B' - See some of the climate change protests around the world'There is no Planet B' - See some of the climate change protests around the world

    Australia’s acting prime minister calls climate protests ‘just a disruption’Australia’s acting prime minister calls climate protests ‘just a disruption’

    Let pupils make own decisions over climate strikes – UK principalLet pupils make own decisions over climate strikes – UK principal

    Millions take to streets for global climate strikeMillions take to streets for global climate strike


    More in this Section

    Pair held on charges connected to killingPair held on charges connected to killing

    Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney Varadkar condemns ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on Quinn executive Kevin Lunney

    From dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centreFrom dust to dustbin ... Urn containing human ashes found at Navan recycling centre

    'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website'Irish citizenship through birth or descent' the most visited document on Citizens Information website


    Lifestyle

    Audrey's been sorting out Cork people for ages.Ask Audrey: C’mere, what’s the story with Chris O’Dowd thinking he’s better than Cork people

    So, I put a link to a short story up for my students the other day. The story was by Michael Morpurgo and I was delighted to find an online copy. It can be challenging when you are relying on non-paper texts to teach.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I love physical books and always will

    Celebrated actress Siobhán McSweeney may have found fame starring in a TV series set at the other end of the country, but Cork is never far from her thoughts, writes Ciara McDonnellHome is where the art is for Derry Girls actress

    There are literally hundreds of free events on offer this evening for kids and adults on Culture Night. Marjorie Brennan selects the best of them, in Cork and beyondCulture Night: Get out and make the most of it

    More From The Irish Examiner