Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has called on the government to do more to support the road haulage sector.
Teachta O’Rourke’s comments come as truckers and hauliers protest in Dublin today about the cost of fuel which is pushing businesses to the brink.
The Meath East TD said:
“Yet again the streets outside the Dáil are filled with essential workers protesting, calling for support and action from this government.
“These workers are vital to our construction, retail and supply chain sectors, but have been ignored by successive governments.
“They are small individual and family businesses that keep the shelves of our shops stocked and transport goods to every corner of the island.
“While international fuel prices are obviously having an impact on prices at the pumps, the Government are exacerbating the issue by continuing to heap carbon tax on fuel in the absence of alternatives.
“Electric lorries aren’t an option for the HGV sector, so hauliers and truckers are being penalised despite having no viable alternatives.
“Workers I spoke to today highlighted that the current Diesel Rebate Scheme isn’t working for most hauliers.
“They highlight that many are excluded from the scheme and others point out that the bureaucracy around the scheme is so complex, any savings made are lost to the accountancy fees.
“Compressed Natural Gas, that hauliers are rightly encouraged to move to as a greener alternative, isn’t included in the rebate scheme, and is currently more expensive than diesel, highlighting the government’s total disconnect from the reality on the ground.
“High insurance costs are also a key issue for this sector.
“Despite significant reforms in this area that will deliver savings for insurance companies, the benefits aren’t being passed onto customers.
“The Government need to take note of the truckers and hauliers outside Leinster House, listen to their concerns and work with them to find solutions urgently.”