Letters
2016-12-01 15:33:21 -
National
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10339
Motor tax exemptions ‘brazen beyond belief’


There are massive differences in road taxation, and unjustified ones too. The appearance of ‘exempt’ tax discs is getting more pervasive and controversial.

Many vehicles that carry these tax-exempt discs carry no State markings and appear to be used for social and domestic purposes, so why are the exempt from taxation?

Every vehicle on the road should pay motor tax, and the same amount of tax. These exemptions are brazen beyond belief and go some way to explaining why we are living in such a chronically divided society.

There simply is no justification for this immunity to taxation. If people are using the road, then they should pay. 

All sorts of arguments are then made on emissions and usage issues for taxation purposes of other vehicles, however if looked at carefully they do not always stack up. Many diesel cars are rated for taxation purposes below petrol, though the emissions are there for all to see coming out of the exhaust pipe. Vintage and veteran automobiles are capped at €56 for a year with nothing but thick black smoke coming out of a great number of them, while other older vehicles not classified as vintage pay many hundreds.

Other anomalies in our road taxation system are also at play. Most construction vehicles are charged just €120 every year despite the serious damage they can cause to the road. They pay a very small amount of motor tax compared to most private cars. Agricultural vehicles such as very heavy tractors pay €102 annually, despite the enormity of the vehicles concerned and the muck they leave all over our roads and on other vehicles.

Taxies and hackneys, which are on the road as a living, pay just €95 a year, even though their use of the road is profound compared with users of private cars, who are fleeced in comparison.

The motoring taxation system needs to be completely overhauled in the interest of fairness, instead of the special interest system that is currently legislated for.

Maurice Fitzgerald
Shanbally, Co Cork


Genuine charity in animal welfare work

As the commercial assault of Christmas gathers pace, it will soon be joined by the doyens of Ireland’s charity industry.
Endless tales of woe will be issued by human welfare charities in an attempt to guilt trip us into supporting their causes. Their slick and emotional media campaigns will lead us to believe that with a small financial contribution, the end of human misery will be in sight. Of course they said that last year and the year before.

As a nation we enjoy suckling the teat of human misery. Irish people seem to be at our happiest helping those who wallow in self-pity. Meanwhile high-profile charities are addicted to their public image and numerous opportunities to pontificate on the fragility of the human condition.

The essence of genuine charity work can be found in animal welfare.  Helping those who never asked to be in a situation of distress or abuse. Those who help the voiceless would gladly give it up if society treated the non-human members of our society with respect and kindness and afforded then effective legal protection.

Due to human effort, Ireland is not a good society for animals. It would be nice to think that animal welfare charities would benefit from your charity spend. In giving, you will know that you are supporting genuine charity work and not enabling self-inflicted misery.

John Tierney
chairman, Waterford Animal Concern
TAGS : Letters Ireland Motor Tax Animal Welfare Work Taxation
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