Rising fuel prices driving hauliers ‘to the brink’

ROAD hauliers are being “pushed to the brink” because of the rising cost of motor fuel, according to the Irish Road Haulage Association.

Industry representatives claimed the price of diesel now constitutes more than 50% of business costs for haulage firms, compared to 35% to 40% in the past few years, as a result of recent increases in taxation and fuel.

The IRHA told the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Transport that the hauliers could be decimated over the failure of the Government to introduce a fuel rebate scheme as well as to tackle the problem of laundered diesel.

Such failures are costing the Exchequer an estimated €600m per annum in lost revenue because most hauliers engaged in overseas travel now bought their fuel abroad.

IRHA president Eoin Gavin said that the issue of rogue operators using illegally laundered diesel was also grossly distorting the market.

The IRHA also recommended reform of road tax so users would operate the pay-as-you-go system used in several other EU countries. The current system of charging motor tax for commercial vehicles on an unladen weight basis is also outdated and non-transparent.

“The IRHA firmly believe that the long-term viability and integrity of our industry can only be assured through a mix of implementation of an essential user fuel rebate, correct targeting of the carbon tax, eradication of illegal fuel and a revised road tax system for commercial vehicles,” said Mr Gavin.

IRHA secretary Gerry McMahon warned that hauliers were in danger of getting caught in a downward spiral over the pressure on them to absorb costs. “Their backs are now to the wall and they are at the end of their tether,” said Mr McMahon.

He expressed concern that hauliers were being penalised for “carrying someone’s goods from A to B” when the end user should be made pay the cost for transporting goods.

More in this section

Budget 2022 Logo

What impact will this  year's budget have on you and your business.

IE logo
Devices


UNLIMITED ACCESS TO THE IRISH EXAMINER FOR TEAMS AND ORGANISATIONS
FIND OUT MORE

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up