24 May 2022

Lowry calls for temporary VAT reduction for transport operators

The Tipperary TD was soeaking in Dáil Éireann this week

Bus Eireann school bus

Some school transport companies are under severe pressure and may not be viable due to the increased costs

‘A temporary VAT reduction for transport operators, similar to that introduced for the hospitality industry, should be considered’ stated Deputy Michael Lowry during in the Dail this week.

Speaking during Questions on Promised Legislation, Deputy Lowry outlined to the Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar, that the Government’s policy of excluding commercial bus operators from 20% reduction in public transport fares and from the Youth Travel Card scheme, is having a detrimental impact on the sector.

‘If you live in an urban area you will get a 20% discount on your bus fares and you will be able to use your Youth Travel card. If you do not live on a Bus Eireann route you’ll pay full fares. Rural passengers are being penalised in their pocket, which is adding to their cost of living crisis. This is wrong, unreasonable, inequitable and unfair’ said Deputy Lowry.

He added: ‘School Transport providers stated last week that due to increased fuel costs their businesses have become non-viable. They cannot guarantee the continued provision of school transport up to June. A further disruption to schools must be avoided.’

In response the Tanaiste said that commercial services, which are not funded by the State, are not included the reduced fares scheme and it is not possible for Government to intervene in that case. However, he said he would discuss the point raised by Deputy Lowry in relation to the VAT reduction with the Minister for Finance who will contact the Deputy directly.

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