Higher car tax for rural dwellers under consideration

People living in rural areas could face higher taxes than city counterparts if a potential new plan to tax people for the distance they drive is introduced in the budget.

AA Ireland criticised the move after it was suggested as part of independent tax changes advice given to the Department of Finance in recent days.

Under a potential policy switch being considered by the Department, people could soon be taxed based on the distance they drive their cars or vehicles in what would effectively become a new petrol tax.

And while the potential move is being examined, AA Ireland spokesman, Barry Aldworth, said if it is introduced, it will unfairly target people living in rural areas who have no other option than to drive: “The Government needs to think long and hard before it makes these changes. We know that as Ireland goes more electric there is going to be a tax shortfall which needs to be addressed, but our concern is distance charging would hit those living in rural communities harder.

Because of the history of under-investment in rural transport in this country people have become more reliant on their private cars and they’ll be punished.

A Department of Finance spokesperson said that while the move is being considered, it is one of a number of suggestions put forward last week as part of independent tax papers, and has yet to be agreed by government officials.

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