Laois/Offaly Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has pledged her full support to Private Coach and Bus operators to have the fuel rebate for road haulage firms announced in Budget 2013 extended to include passenger transport operators.
The scheme currently allows road haulage firms to claim back a percentage of the excise duty paid on road diesel. Deputy Corcoran Kennedy has received a number of representations from Private Coach and Bus Operators throughout County Offaly who have outlined to her the benefits of extending the fuel rebate scheme to them and the wider economy. Deputy Corcoran Kennedy has discussed the extension of the fuel rebate scheme with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and has raised the issue with her colleagues in Fine Gael.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy said it makes ‘economic sense’ to extend the fuel rebate to Private Coach Operators. The private bus and coach industry plays a substantial role in the Irish economy. The industry is made up of over 1,900 SMEs which operate in every county in Ireland and between them employ between 6,500 and 7,000 people.
Coach tourism services make a very significant contribution to the Irish economy with 300,000 overseas coach tourists visiting Ireland in 2010 worth an estimated €180 million to the Irish economy and supporting employment in other sectors of the tourist industry. Private bus and coach operators also account for 80% of school bus transport services.
“By extending the fuel rebate scheme the Government will support employment in a sector which involves SME’s which are the enterprises that will help Ireland’s economy to recover and provide sustainable employment for the future.”