Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Fleming has expressed his disappointment at the Government’s rejection of his proposal to extend the fuel rebate scheme to small and agri businesses using their own transport for deliveries.
This week in the Dáil, Deputy Fleming proposed amendments to the Fuel Rebate Scheme for these small businesses that use their own transport.
As part of the Finance Bill the government is introducing a fuel rebate scheme for transport operators and the Government previously agreed to Fianna Fáil’s proposal to extend this to coach and bus operators.
“I cannot understand how the Government could not extend the Fuel Rebate Scheme to companies that use their own vehicles to transport goods.
“The section of the legislation which defines a qualifying road transport operator excludes many small business operators who transport their own goods but don’t require a road freight carrier’s licence.
“Many companies, like a catering firm or bakery for example, use their own transport lorries and do not sub-contract their haulage to independent contractors. Under the current proposals because they are not required to have a road-freight carrier’s licence, they do not qualify for the fuel rebate. As the legislation stands, it will force companies to contract out their transport in order to benefit from the rebate. The tax incentive can be granted to a subcontractor but not to a company that is carrying its own products.
“Also currently excluded from the benefit are many companies involved in the agri-food business who own their own lorries. Companies that transport milk from farms to the factory or companies that transport grain and livestock including cattle and sheep are also excluded from this benefit due to the definitions applied by the Minister.
“It is disappointing that the Government failed to see sense here and agree to my amendment. Small business operators deserve every possible support and should be able to benefit from the scheme in an equal and fair way.”