Cashel Sinn FÃ©in Cllr Martin Browne has described Minister Leo Varadkarâ€™s announcement that â‚¬42 million is to be reallocated to improve rural roads as pittance compared to over â‚¬1 billion collected by the exchequer every single year directly from motor related revenue. Cllr Browne, while welcoming that something is finally being done about our crumbling road infrastructure, said that this was too little, too late.
â€œMinister Varadkar is quite correct when he says that â€˜It is obvious to anyone who lives or drives through rural areas that some road surfaces are in need of repairâ€™. I would go a step further and say that most road surfaces are in need of repair and that is because people like Minister Varadkar have neglected this issue for so long and are now trying to pass it off as something that has just popped up.
â€œWhile I welcome the reallocation of â‚¬42 million to allow for vital repairs to our road infrastructure, it does appear to be a case of too little, too late. In last years budget road tax was increased. It may come as a surprise to many who pay this tax that the revenue generated from it does not automatically go to maintaining our road network, but instead is pumped back into central government to pay excessive wages and cover the cost of St Patrickâ€™s Day junkets for our government TDs. Every year our government collects over â‚¬1 billion in motor related revenue. If you add in the 7.5% hike on motor tax in the last budget plus the vat intake on petrol and diesel, then the â‚¬42 million divided between 29 County Councils is grossly inadequate. There are 2.5 million registered motorists in Ireland paying through the nose for a service that seems to be strangely under-funded. Many secondary roads across this county are literally crumbing away. These potholed infested byways are a danger to drivers and a cause of considerable financial loss. Itâ€™s time that all revenue generated from road tax be reinvested back into the maintenance and construction of our roads.â€
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