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As a leading provider of HGV training in County Tyrone, we occasionally come across HGVs coming into Northern Ireland from the Republic. Unfortunately, some of these drivers may lose their jobs as a result of the HGV levies assessed by both the UK and Irish governments. We hope a solution can be worked out before it comes to that.

Last week we reported on the fact that the UK HGV levy had already exceeded 12-month revenue projections after just six months in force. Government officials are already saying the first-year collections might be double what were originally anticipated. Some of those revenues undoubtedly come from Irish hauliers operating in Northern Ireland.

According to The Independent, the Irish government failed to address their own HGV tax issue in the 2015 budget. Haulage companies in that country were hoping leaders would reduce road taxes that, in some cases, are as much as four times higher than that which companies in other European countries pay. That did not happen.

Making matters worse is the fact that the Irish hauliers must also pay up to £10 per day to use roads in Northern Ireland. Companies say they cannot compete outside of Ireland because they are at a financial disadvantage. Many fear they will have to cut jobs because they will not be able to sustain their businesses.

HGV Class 1 Licence

Another fear is that some Irish hauliers will move their operations to Northern Ireland to remain competitive. That would mean the loss of Irish jobs, which would then be picked up by local drivers wherever these companies relocate. The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) is calling on the Government to do something now before companies start laying off workers or looking to relocate.

A Tough Situation

We can certainly sympathise with what the haulage industry is going through in Ireland. One of the reasons the industry was so supportive of the implementation of the HGV levy here in the UK was the need to level the playing field between British truck drivers and their European counterparts. Until the institution of the levy, only UK HGVs were subject to road tax while vehicles from other European countries were exempt.

The whole road tax question amounts to a tough situation with no easy answers. The one thing we do know for sure is that taxation hurts business. Taxes are necessary in order for a country to function. However, the more we can keep taxes low, the better it is for business. Moreover, as business grows, the tax base grows right along with it.

As they continue to search for solutions in Ireland, the HGV Training Centre will continue offering HGV training in County Tyrone and all across Northern Ireland and the UK. If you are interested in becoming a professional driver, we urge you to contact us right away. New classes are forming at our 45+ facilities across the UK. We can get you started right away on your career as an HGV driver.

Sources:

  1. ie – http://www.independent.ie/regionals/newrossstandard/news/action-to-save-ross-hgv-jobs-30696232.html

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