Minister Gormley should get real - This is another attack on Rural Ireland - BREEN

August 26th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has described the latest move by the Environment Minister John Gormley to order local authorities to compel drivers of commercial jeeps and small vans to sign a declaration which will result in those drivers being unable to use their vehicles to drive to mass as “ridiculous”. He said that it demonstrates how out of touch this Government has become adding that instead of further penalising small businesses Minister Gormley and his colleagues should be concentrating their energies on getting this country back to work and fixing the banks to get much needed credit flowing to small businesses. Deputy Breen’s comments on this latest motor tax change are echoed by East Clare’s Fine Gael Councillor Joe Cooney.

“This latest move by Minister Gormley to stop owners of jeeps and small vans from using their vehicles to drive to mass is completely ridiculous. How does Minister Gormley expect small business owners; self employed people and farmers to absorb this additional cost when they are already struggling to stay afloat? Small businesses are the backbone of this Economy and they already overburdened with the high cost of doing business here and they have seen no NAMA style bailout out to get much need credit flowing.”

“Minister Gormley should get real many farmers do not own a second vehicle, now he is expecting them to absorb a 400% increase in the cost of their annual tax, so that they can go to Mass on a Sunday. This is another attack on rural Ireland and will cause a lot of unnecessary hardship for a lot of people and it really demonstrates how out of touch with people this Government has become.”

Deputy Breen comments were echoed by East Clare Fine Gael Councillor Joe Cooney who described the move as “outrageous”. He said that “Minister Gormley was further penalising self-employed people by putting another tax down on top of them. As a self-employed person myself he said that “I often drop my young lad off at the hand ball alley or hurling pitch on my way to a job and collect him on my return journey”. According to Minister Gormley “it will be now be illegal for any self-employed person passing a GAA field on their way home from work, to drop off and watch a hurling match, this is totally outrageous.”

Deputy Breen added “A raft of Green taxes will already see hard pressed families forced to pay more than €500 annually in increased ESB Bills, carbon taxes on petrol, diesel and home heating oil. Minister Gormley and his Government colleagues are now completely out of touch with the difficulties facing ordinary people. This latest move will drive more self-employed people out of business. Instead of further penalising small businesses and farmers, Minister Gormley and his colleagues should be using their energies to get people back to work in this Country and fixing the banks to get much needed credit flowing in the Economy.”