Hauliers claim new UK travel tax could cost thousands of jobs

Saturday 29 March 2014 16.13
Foreign HGVs will be charged £10 (€12.10) a day when entering Northern Ireland and Britain from Tuesday, according to the IRHA
Foreign HGVs will be charged £10 (€12.10) a day when entering Northern Ireland and Britain from Tuesday, according to the IRHA

The Irish Road Haulage Association has appealed to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to stop a new UK travel tax on its members.

The association says that from midnight on Monday foreign HGVs will be charged £10 (€12.10) a day when entering Northern Ireland and Britain.

Speaking ahead of the association's annual conference in Kilkenny, IRHA President Eoin Gavin said the move would cost Irish haulers €120m a year.

He said the tax could result in the loss of thousands of jobs because of businesses moving elsewhere.

Mr Gavin said the charge would affect the domestic market. For example, if an Irish company sending goods from Donegal to Dublin has to cross the border.

He said: "The problem we have is Northern Ireland, UK haulers, can now come into this jurisdiction now pick up Irish goods and possibly compete with Irish haulers, and pay no tax in our jurisdiction and pay no tax in the UK.

"It's going to cost Irish jobs. I would be very, very hopeful that the minister would at least do a deal on the North of Ireland at this stage."

Mr Gavin said he is confident that Mr Hogan can do something to combat this tax by Monday, even if the tax is not introduced on traffic to and from Northern Ireland.

He said the IRHA proposes working on an all-Ireland basis, similar to one in the Benelux countries.

Around 400 members of the IRHA attended its annual conference today.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar was guest speaker at the event.