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Transport | Further assistance to the transport sector

To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which the Government can offer any further assistance to the transport sector by whatever means with a view to ensuring that the rising transport costs do not become prohibitive in the context of economic progress; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


This Government has acted promptly to mitigate the effects of energy price increases.  This year more than €2 billion worth of measures have been put in place.  Of these measures, many were targeted at the rising costs of transport:
– a cut of 20c for every litre of petrol and 15c for every litre of auto diesel, and a proportionate 2c reduction for excise on green diesel;
– the temporary enhancement to the Diesel Rebate Scheme, which was provided in Budget 2020, has been maintained;
– cutting public transport fares by 20% from the end of April;
– the introduction of the Licensed Haulage Emergency Support Scheme.

In respect of the latter two measures, which fall under my remit, the Government approved a 20% fare-reduction initiative on Public Service Obligation (PSO) public transport services, at a cost of €54m.  A Young Adult Card was introduced on both PSO and commercial services in Budget 2022. This measure allows any person nationwide who is between 19 and 23 years old, to avail of an entitlement for discounted travel costs, and to increase the level of discount over and above the current student discount to an average discount of 50% across all services, including city, intercity and rural services. Over 1000 applications received by the National Transport Authority (NTA) on launch day alone. The initiative will be broadened to include commercial operators later this year, with the aim to have it in place before the recommencement of third level colleges.  

In relation to the Licensed Haulage Emergency Support Scheme, this measure provided €100 per week, for eight weeks, for each eligible heavy goods vehicle authorised on the licence of a road haulage operator as of 11 March 2022. On 19 May 2022, the closing date for receipt of completed applications was extended to 6 June 2022. Over €15 million has been paid out under the Scheme to 2,923 licensed operators. Further eligible applications received will be processed over the coming days and final payments will be made shortly.  The Scheme is now closed.  There is ongoing engagement with the haulier industry in terms of their needs.

The Diesel Rebate Scheme offers a partial excise refund to qualifying operators. In Budget 2020, in light of the challenges arising from Brexit uncertainty facing the industry, the marginal rate of compensation at prices over €1.42 (VAT inclusive) was doubled up to the maximum repayment rate of 7.5 cents per litre. In recognition of the vital role that the haulage sector plays in the economy, this increase has been maintained since.

More generally, the Government has acted to offset the rising cost of fuel through a reduction in Excise on fuels – a reduction of 20 cent on petrol and 15 cent on diesel fuel. While this measure (announced in early March 2022) was originally proposed to last until 31 August 2022, the Government has extended it out to Budget Day 2022. This measure provides assistance to all citizens and businesses to help mitigate the impact of recent fuel price increases.

Since early March, with the benefit of the excise reduction, the 8 weeks support under the Licensed Haulage Support Scheme and the ongoing Diesel Rebate relief, haulage businesses will have had the opportunity to revise and renegotiate contracts with their clients in order to reflect increased prices, as is an unfortunate reality in all sectors across the economy.

While it will not be possible to fully insulate citizens and businesses from the impact of these fuel price increases, I will continue to monitor actively this evolving situation very closely, and consider such further steps as may be necessary in conjunction with my Government colleagues and in consultation with the sector.



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