WITH the ever-spreading potholes on Ireland’s roads now resembling deep craters of the moon in areas hit by the recent floods, motorists are once again wondering where their hard-earned taxes are going.
As far as frustrated drivers go, the answer to that perennial question is “everywhere” and “anywhere” but certainly not into the road network which is rapidly crumbling from one end of the country to the other.
No doubt, with an election looming next month, tarmac by the tonne will be used to mend the patchwork quilt.
Considering how much oil prices have plummeted on the international market, the motorist can also be forgiven for wondering why prices at the pumps have not fallen as much as they should.
Blame for this intolerable situation lies squarely with government fuel taxes, of which, according to the AA, there are four.
Firstly, excise duty is charged by the litre, Carbon tax by the tonne, then there is the ‘NORA’ (National Oil Reserves Agency) levy of 2 cent per litre.
All of them are subject to VAT at 23% and never come down, no matter what happens internationally.
While your average driver probably has no objection to paying their fair share of taxes, they may resent it when the roads are literally crumbling beneath their wheels.
There is an argument for ring-fencing a portion of what Government takes in fuel and road taxes.
Paying tax for a specific purpose and then having it diverted elsewhere is just not acceptable.
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