Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Fuel Prices

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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25. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the supports that will be made available to taxi drivers in view of rising fuel prices particularly considering the new supports announced for hauliers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15171/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Taxi Regulation (Maximum Fares) Order 2017 which took effect on 1 February 2018, sets the maximum fares that may be charged by the driver of a taxi in respect of journey undertaken in the State in line with the table contained in the Schedule to the Order. The Deputy may be aware that work on the latest NTA Review of the national maximum fare is well underway, and fuel costs are a major contributor in considering fare increases. The objective of the Review is to determine whether changes need to be made to the current level of maximum fares in response to market changes facing the taxi industry as well as changes in annual taxi operating costs. The NTA has confirmed that it is endeavouring to conclude the review process as quickly as possible in 2022 whilst still ensuring that all steps, including a consultation process, are appropriately completed.

In relation to the rising cost of fuel, the Government announced on March 9th last, a temporary reduction in the excise duties charged on petrol, diesel and marked gas oil. Excise duty is being reduced by 20 cent per litre of petrol and 15 cent per litre of diesel. These reductions are in place until 31 August 2022 and should help to reduce the operating costs of non-electric SPSVs.

Recognising that the replacement of a vehicle is the single largest cost faced by any SPSV operator, and in view of my commitment to support the transition of the SPSV fleet towards zero/low-emission vehicles, I announced on February 4th last, the re-opening of the eSPSV Grant Scheme, with a further €15 million allocated to it for 2022. The grants will enable owners of taxis and hackneys, to buy electric vehicles (EVs).

Administered by the NTA, SPSV drivers can apply for grants of up to €10,000 towards the purchase of a new, full-battery eSPSV, with a further €2,500 available to convert it to a wheelchair-accessible model. Taxi drivers are eligible for double the normal grant when they scrap an older, more polluting or high mileage vehicle and make the switch to electric. By scrapping and switching, up to €20,000 can be available for a new, fully electric SPSV and if the taxi is a wheelchair-accessible electric vehicle, the supports rise to €25,000. A driver can apply to combine both the eSPSV grant scheme and the WAV grant scheme up to a maximum of €32,500.

The take-up rate for this Scheme was exceptionally high in 2021: almost 600 drivers successfully applied for grants, with over €11 million paid out as well as €4 million in provisional grant offers. The operation of the Scheme is a matter for the NTA and details of the Scheme are available on the NTA’s website.


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