Ireland's coach touring companies say high Government taxes on diesel are killing the Irish coach tourism industry.
The Coach Tourism & Transport Council (CTTC) says its members cannot sustain current diesel prices, and more jobs will be lost if the Government does not bring down the price of fuel.
“Half of what we pay at the pumps for diesel goes to the Government in taxes,” says Gerry Mullins, Chief Executive of the CTTC. “High taxes are causing job losses in tourism.”
The CTTC points out that on a litre of diesel costing around €1.54, the coach company will spend around 50% on government taxes including excise duty, carbon tax, VAT, and on the National Oil Reserves Levy.
The CTTC is calling for a re-think on the matter of fuel taxes. “Raking in money on fuel taxes is a false saving because the Government will have to cover the cost of jobs lost from the tourism industry,” says Mullins.
A press release from the Council explains 'Republic of Ireland coach companies are competing against coach companies in Northern Ireland and Britain who can reclaim the VAT on diesel. This means that British coach companies can offer their services cheaper than Republic of Ireland ones, so potential visitors to Ireland are lost to Britain where they can enjoy a cheaper coach tour. Meanwhile, visitors who land in Dublin are often being collected by Northern Ireland coaches who can operate in the South, but reside in a more favourable tax jurisdiction'.
The CTTC is calling on the minister for tourism Leo Varadkar to introduce a new form of excise duty rebate. The abolition of the previous excise rebate added 34.5 cent per litre of diesel; a massive increase that has crippled the coach industry ever since.