Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, says action must be taken now to ensure the Irish haulage industry doesn’t collapse.
Deputy Dooley was reacting to the announcement that haulage company Target Express is to cease trading with the loss of almost 400 jobs.
“The Government continues to sit idly by and watch the Irish haulage industry disintegrate. They need to immediately bring forward legislative measures to safeguard the industry,” said Deputy Dooley.
“The collapse of Target Express is a clear signal to the Government that Irish haulage sector is in a state of crisis. We have heard today that nearly 20% of haulage companies have gone out of business since 2010 representing 5,000 jobs losses.
“The spiralling cost of fuel has hugely impacted on hauliers, fuel now accounts for 50% of these companies’ cost based compared to 30% previously. International hauliers also have an advantage over Irish companies as they can benefit from a fuel rebate. Law abiding hauliers are also placed at an unfair disadvantage as unscrupulous operators are using laundered green diesel. This reduces the competitiveness of legitimate companies and we know the slightest advantage can be the difference between a company surviving and not.
“Fianna Fáil will be publishing legislative proposals in the forthcoming Dáil session to implement a fuel rebate scheme for haulage companies together with a mechanism to address the impact of laundered fuel.
“The road haulage industry contributes over €1 billion to the general exchequer and receives no financial assistance from the Government, if it is to survive something must be done by this Government to ease the pressure. Target Express say they contacted three separate Government Ministers to no avail, this again goes to show the remarkable disconnect the Fine Gael/Labour administration has with the employment sector.
“The industry is under attack, its collapse would severely impact on our competitiveness internationally. It would also be hugely problematic transporting goods within Ireland and between Ireland and our important overseas markets, especially during the winter months due to the adverse weather conditions.
“This is too important an industry to ignore and we do not want to see more companies like Target Express fall by the wayside.”