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Minister Noonan gets Budget warning from Windsor boss

One of Ireland’s leading motor groups has has warned Finance Minister, Michael Noonan on the implications of increased motoring costs for consumers.

Windsor Motor Group CEO, Gabriel Keane, has called on Minister Noonan and the Government to ensure that the forthcoming budget offers the necessary stability to prevent the collapse of the motor industry and prevent further job losses.

Recent statistics illustrate the severity of the situation, as figures released by SIMI this week reveal that new car sales are down by 12 per cent on last year.

Commenting on the overwhelming challenges facing the motor industry, Gabriel Keane stressed the importance of maintaining stability in the VRT system as well as limiting changes to road tax rates and VAT on car servicing. He explained that in addition to the economic and consumer confidence challenges facing other sectors, the new and used car markets have also been seriously impacted causing many consumers to hold off on their new car purchases. As a result, this has had a knock on effect on new car sales and on used car values.

“The Irish Motor Industry, which employs over 37,000 people, is in crisis and could not sustain further changes to the VRT system, road tax rates or VAT on servicing,” said Mr Keane. “Tampering with these will have a potentially disastrous effect on employment, with the risk of further redundancies in the motor industry, and also impacting on the take-home pay of employees.”

Urging the government to seriously consider the implications of adjusting VRT and road tax rates, Gabriel Keane warned that “any change to VRT, the motor tax system or VAT rate for services, for either cars or commercial vehicles, would severely damage business and employment and would also result in a reduction in VRT revenues for the State.”