Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Haulage Industry

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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36. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of his engagement with the haulage sector to address the high cost of fuel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62398/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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The current spike in energy prices arises principally from the global recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. It has implications right across the economy. With regard to the impact on transport, the Government will continue to monitor impacts on trade and key supply chains as it has done through the challenges arising from Brexit and the global pandemic.

Road hauliers are currently supported in relation to the cost of diesel through the Diesel Rebate Scheme, introduced in 2013. In Budget 2020, in recognition of the challenging environment that the haulage industry faced at that time with regard to the prospect of a disorderly Brexit, the scheme was enhanced to the extent that when the retail price of auto diesel is over €1.07, the marginal rate of compensation increases to 60% of the excise paid up to a maximum repayment rate of 7.5 cent per litre when the price of auto diesel is €1.16 or over (VAT exclusive). In recognition of the vital role that the haulage sector plays in the economy, the 2020 enhancement has been maintained since. It is worth noting also that businesses that are registered for VAT may deduct the VAT charged to them on the purchase of business inputs, such as road diesel and other motoring costs.

Minister Ryan and I met on 10 December with representatives of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) to discuss a range of issues including fuel prices, decarbonisation of the HGV sector and skills issues including the HGV driver shortage.

At the meeting with IRHA, the Department agreed to consider a proposal to expand the relief available to hauliers under the Diesel Rebate Scheme, but with a link to the phasing out of older, more polluting vehicles and an overall reduction in emissions from the sector. Details of that proposal are to be submitted by the IRHA to the Department. The meeting with the IRHA was constructive and informative and both sides agreed to reconvene again in the New Year.


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