Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow Kilkenny, John McGuinness, says immediate action must be taken to save the road haulage sector in Ireland following the closure of Target Express.
Deputy McGuinness was reacting to the announcement that haulage company Target Express, with a depot in Purcellsinch Industrial Estate on the Dublin Road, is to cease trading with the loss of almost 400 jobs.
“The haulage business in Ireland employs 50,000 people and every one of these will be under severe pressure unless some action is taken by the Government.
“The spiralling cost of fuel has hugely impacted on hauliers, fuel now accounts for 50% of these companies’ cost based compared to 30% previously. International hauliers also have an advantage over Irish companies as they can benefit from a fuel rebate. Law abiding hauliers are also placed at an unfair disadvantage as unscrupulous operators are using laundered green diesel.
“The time has come to introduce an essential user rebate scheme, the current system in relation to costs and the ineffectiveness of Revenue is simply not sustainable.
“Fianna Fáil will be publishing legislative proposals in the forthcoming Dáil session to implement a fuel rebate scheme for haulage companies together with a mechanism to address the impact of laundered fuel.
“Given the state of our domestic economy, it is essential that Revenue adopts a reasonable approach when businesses get into genuine difficulty with their taxation obligations. While Revenue has a job to do and businesses have an obligation to keep their tax affairs in order, the economic reality of 2012 in Ireland means that Revenue has to show flexibility in how it deals with businesses that face taxation arrears.
“The industry is under attack, its collapse would severely impact on our competitiveness internationally. It would also be hugely problematic transporting goods within Ireland and between Ireland and our important overseas markets, especially during the winter months due to the adverse weather conditions. “I hope that all existing orders are delivered and the workers are properly reimbursed as I understand some wages remain outstanding,” he said.