While there are many supports for business in Budget 2021, the fuel hikes without some rebate system are a devastating blow to an already crippled bus and coach sector.
The Coach Tourism & Transport Council (CTTC), Ireland’s largest representative body for coach touring companies, and private bus operators has said the hiking of tax on diesel in the Budget represents a devastating blow to an already crippled sector due to COVID-19. While the CTTC acknowledges the supports given to the tourism industry and aid to other sectors, it is disappointed and annoyed at the introduction of carbon tax on the industry at this time.
In a statement, the Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland said that the Government has completely abandoned the sector with no regard, plan or incentives to get the industry back on its feet following a COVID-19 recovery. The cost of diesel has risen too because of a €7.50, per tonne increase in the carbon tax. This will add €10.10 to the cost to fill an average coach with a 400-litre diesel tank.
John Halpenny, the Chairperson of the representative group, said: “We feel completely abandoned and let down. The hiking of taxes on diesel in the Budget has been a devastating blow and will do nothing to assist the industry that is already on its knees through no fault of its own.”
“Advancing green credentials while decimating a sustainable transport service provided by private bus and coach operators around the country, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. We are now demanding that action is taken to help the survival of our sector and ensure passengers can be assured of essential connectivity to work, college, school and hospitals coming out of this pandemic. This need is acute now more than ever given the fact Bus Eireann has ceased operations on a number of inter-city routes.”
“We had asked for a fuel rebate scheme to offset any potential carbon tax increases but our pleas have been ignored.”