Reacting to the measures affecting motoring in the Budget, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has said that now was not the time to increase Motor Tax and VRT although the introduction of the new registration plate was welcomed.
Alan Nolan, Director General, SIMI commetned, “While increases in VRT and Road Tax were strongly signalled, we warned Government that now is not the time and it is certainly not the time to increase both. The motorist is already paying enough tax to be on the road and new car sales are down 10,000 on last year. We have always said that more tax would be generated from increasing the sale of cars rather than increasing taxation. The Budget VRT increases should deliver about ?50 million but this amount could be generated from the sale of just 6,000 extra cars and this would also support 800 extra jobs which would save the Government almost ?20 million.
“On the plus side, for those buying a new car next year with a trade-in, the increase in VRT will have a knock-on effect on the value of the second hand, so the cost to change should not be significantly different. We are also satisfied that this major restructuring of VRT and Road Tax Bands was based on consultation with the Industry and has produced a structure that will give us stability into the future.”
Alan Lyons, President of SIMI says, “The introduction of the new registration period is really good news for the Industry. For several years, we have been highlighting the problem of seasonality in our industry, where 80% of new cars are sold in the first half of the year, forcing garages to reduce staff because of lack of business later on in the year. While we may not see a significant change in buying patterns in its first year of introduction, the new plate will have a hugely positive impact on the industry in the long term.”
The retention of the VRT relief for electric cars, plug-in hybrids and flexi-fuel vehicles is also welcomed, as too is the reduction in Road Tax for Electric cars.