Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin Fingal, Darragh O’Brien has said that the financial ability of Dublin North road users, especially commuters must be taken into account before any attempt is made to impose VAT on toll charges on the M50 or Dublin Port Tunnel.
The European Court of Justice have recently suggested toll operators charge 23%VAT on state-owned tolls, including the M50 and Port Tunnel. This would put an excessive burden on motorists and commercial users, especially those who use the motorways for work.
Deputy O’Brien has said, “These proposed toll charges are a significant blow for all motorists but particularly for those in Dublin North who are tolled when travelling west, south and north bound.
“Based on the costs of a round trip commute on the M50, a regular commuter can be paying upwards of €1000 per year on mid-week tolls for getting to work. Most of these commuters have no realistic alternative but to use the M50 for getting to work.
“If the ruling is final, it is critical that the Departments of Transport and Finance work together to mitigate any additional cost to regular Dublin North commuters,” he added.
“The previous Government’s Capital Infrastructure Plan failed to deliver anything to Dublin Fingal in terms of improving our poor public transport infrastructure.
"The level of under-investment in developing an efficient and appropriate public transport network in Dublin North over the last five years is irresponsible in the extreme and cannot continue.
“North County Dublin is the fastest-growing county in the country, thousands in our community work in the capital, yet we continue to be left behind by this government. These proposed toll charges are another slap in the face for locals.
“The longer the neglect continues, the clearer it is becoming that the firm promises made to people in this region in relation to improving transport infrastructure will be broken,” concluded O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the government’s lack of progress in admitting refugees under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme is shameful.
Commenting on the issue Deputy O’Brien said, “On September 10th 2015 the government pledged to take up to 4,000 refugees through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, to date only 311 refugees have arrived. Furthermore, I learned today at a meeting of the Refugee and Migrant Coalition that to date Ireland has accepted just one unaccompanied child as part of the the scheme.
“The progress is utterly shameful and underscores the theory that there is a real lack of political will on this issue.
“Later this month, we will co-facilitate the first UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants. In consideration of this important role, Ireland should be showing greater leadership in this regard. The Government cannot encourage other countries to adopt a more humane and coordinated approach when they themselves do not practice what they preach.
“I am urging both the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Justice to redouble their efforts to fulfil their commitment to provide a safe haven for families and children who have been forced to leave their homes due to war and conflict,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.