The Irish Road Hauliers Association has welcomed the hard-won fuel rebate after months of lobbying and presenting the Government with studies showing that the move would be tax neutral.
IRHA president Eoin Gavin said that hauliers were delighted with the rebate which would provide some stability for the industry in the near future.
“We are delighted with the rebate. This will curb the job losses of nearly 1,500 in the industry this year alone.
“It will give us some stability going forward,” he said.
Mr Gavin said that some of the analysis they had carried out had actually shown that by introducing the rebate there would be a net gain for the exchequer.
He said that at the moment he was filling his trucks on the continent and that the exchequer was losing out on €600 on each fill he made.
With the introduction of the rebate, not only will the Revenue Commissioners insure that hauliers fill up in Ireland they will also reduce the illegal fuel trade, he said.
The Government’s recognition of hauliers as a separate category of road users to motorists was also an important point for the IRHA.
“It is not just that we got the rebate but that for the first time the Government has acknowledged us as essential users and not just motorists,” said Mr Gavin.
However, other road users who will feel they should have been considered for the rebate were disappointed not to be included in the scheme. Private bus operators expressed surprise and disappointment that similar rebates were not being made available to the passenger transport sector.
The Coach Tourism and Transport Council said that bus and coach firms would now pay 40% more for their fuel than hauliers.
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