Cork County Council is hoping to get permission to pilot a scheme which would allow vehicle owners to purchase stamps towards their motor tax.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said he would like to pilot such a scheme, which would also halt the practice of charging people more for paying motor tax through quarterly installments.
Mr Lucey made his views known after Independent councillor June Murphy won unanimous support from colleagues when she proposed the council pioneer an easy payment method system, similar to the TV licence stamp system operated through post offices. Ms Murphy said that a lot of people were struggling to pay a large lump sum for motor tax, especially as insurance premiums had gone through the roof.
Fine Gael councillor Gerard Murphy said stamps for motor tax should be around €10 each and could be sold through post offices.
The council’s head of finance, Lorraine Lynch, said that, at present, legislation only allows for payment options for three, six or 12 months and the collection system could only be changed with permission from the Department of Transport.
It has responsibility for the National Vehicle and Driver File system, which processes all motor tax transactions, regardless of whether they are done online or through local authority offices.
Sinn Féin councillor Des O’Grady said it was wrong that poorer people were being penalised because they could not afford to pay in one go to tax their car for the whole year.
He said it should cost exactly half of the full year price if a disc is purchased for six months and a quarter if it was for three months.
Mr O’Grady said he fully supported introducing a stamp system to make payments even easier.
Mr Lucey said he wanted to keep motor tax payments in council control.
Mayor of County Cork Seamus McGrath decided the best option was to get a council Special Purposes Committee (SPC) to tease the issue out in more detail. When the SPC has its proposals finalised, the council will then send a formal request to the Department of Transport to allow it operate a new pilot collection system.
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