The emergency package revealed by Government today intended to alleviate pressure on hauliers is wide of the mark yet again, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

A total of €18 million has been allocated for the scheme, which will provide a payment of €100 per week for every heavy goods vehicle as listed on a road haulage operator’s licence. The scheme is set to operate for a period of 8 weeks before a review is carried out.

Responding to the developments, the Roscommon-Galway TD said: “Yet again, the Government is wide of the mark with a support package for a sector in need of assistance.

“While the eligible hauliers will of course welcome the weekly payment, the increases witnessed in recent weeks will far outweigh the €100 – considering the distances these vehicles travel on a weekly basis and the amount of fuel it takes to keep them on the road.

“Over a period of 8 weeks, the payments will amount to €800 for a single truck. The budget of €18 million cover just over 22,000 HGVs. But when you look at the number of HGVs taxed in Ireland, the figure stands at almost double that, as per a consultation document on the future of the haulage industry published by Government last year.

“There are many HGVs which are privately owned across the country which don’t require the owner to obtain a haulage operator’s licence. For instance, if the owners are transporting their own produce, the licence is not required.

“These people will now fall outside of the scheme, unable to claim the assistance.

“Also, as I said in the Dail this week, there is nothing here for bus operators. Do these vehicles run on fresh air?

“The Government must revisit the measures and make them more inclusive, otherwise it will cause a divide in the sector,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice at 086-1914565

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