Those employed within the motor industry in Cork have described Budget 2022 as "an attack on consumers and motorists" as fuel prices and the price of new cars increase.
The measures specific to motoring announced in Budget 2022 included the introduction of a revised vehicle registration tax table from January next year, the extension of the €5,000 relief for Battery Electric vehicles to the end of 2023 and the extension of BIK exemption for battery electric vehicles out to 2025.
AA Ireland Head of Communications Paddy Comyn said that while an increase in the price of petrol and diesel was expected, it is on the back of what is a 25% increase in prices of petrol and diesel over the past 12 months.
Echoing Mr Comyn’s comments, Marketing Manager of Johnson & Perrott, Jerry Crowley said that while the price increase was not unexpected, that it all adds up and “puts a little bit of a stumbling block in front of people who are trying to drive in a more greener and sustainable way”.
He said that the fact that the VRT has gone up “pretty much across the board has meant there’s an additional burden on motorists when buying a new car which typically are far less polluting than for instance the used vehicles that they’re currently driving”.
Mr Crowley said that newer cars don’t necessarily have to be battery-powered or hybrid-powered because the standard combustion engines that are being sold new currently are in a lot of cases quite green themselves.
Meanwhile, Denis Murphy of Blackwater Motors described the measures announced for the industry as “very disappointing”.
Private cars, which is what they are attacking, and you can only call it an attack, are 10% of overall emissions in Ireland, that’s all they account for and they’re getting 100% of taxation.
“We believe at this stage that this is anti-car and anti-driver and it’s wrapped up in a false emissions narrative because what they’re doing will not reduce emissions. New car prices are going up now again and we’re talking about a car around the €40,000 bracket, which is close enough to being the average price of a car now, it’s going to go up by about €1,700 again now.
“You're talking about these cars with a tax on them of about €16,000 between that and VRT and you’d wonder how much more tax they want to get out of these things.
There is a shortage of used cars already in the market and prices of used cars are going through the roof and the reason for that is that we’ve never sold enough new cars in this country to satisfy the used car demand.
He said that the increase in prices will “make it worse because people will hang onto their existing car for longer and they’re going to buy an older used car that they can afford which is going to do nothing for emissions”.
He said that the lack of public transport, as well as the increase in the price of fuel through the carbon tax measure is “a real attack on consumers and motorists”.
He said that it is “a slap in the face to every consumer in the country and that Fine Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens “are beyond redemption”.