Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Niall Collins TD has criticised the Government’s decision to hit drivers of low emission cars for an extra €47m tax and described the move as a blow to responsible drivers and the environment.


Deputy Collins commented, “Drivers who bought low emission cars on the basis of the tax regime in place will be angry and disappointed today.  Band A is being increased from €104 to €160 while Band B is being ramped up by €156 to €225. These massive €56 and €69 hits on drivers who bought low emission cars is further compounded by VAT increases on petrol and excise duty increases. Driving is about to become significantly more expensive for those drivers.


Another sign that this Government is happy to row back on the progress we have made on tackling climate change, low emission cars are being specifically penalised by the motor tax rises. It is a direct hit on the 70% of new car sales since the 2008 Motor Tax scheme on fuel efficient low emission cars. The Government is disproportionately hitting those drivers rather than taking a balanced approach to motor tax and continuing to encourage fuel efficient low emission vehicles.”


Deputy Collins concluded, “Michael Noonan’s announcements underline the lack of a climate change strategy by the government. Around €1 billion is collected in motor tax each year and this revenue raising method should be used to encourage environmental friendly car use, not simply treating motorists as a cash cow. The Fianna Fáil pre–budget submission emphasised raising much needed additional revenue through Motor Tax but not at the expense of drivers who purchased low emission cars.”