Our betters really are short-sighted. Not too long ago a decent performing family saloon in this country came with an annual road tax of over €1,000. The Revenue were taking in short of a billion snots a year on this racket. Then two things happened.
The climate change lot convinced the weak-minded in power that car tax should be charged on the basis of emissions and not engine size. The 2.5 liter flyer that I had was costing me over €900 a year at the time just to be street legal. But no sooner had I got rid of it for an old and underpowered 1.4liter car than the system changed to taxing emissions. The current model of the 2.5 liter flyer costs less to tax than my ancient small engined car.
The second thing that happened was the people standing up to the political bullies and forcing them to abandon double-taxation for water. This left the expensively created Irish Water with no income source so 100% of all of the car tax collected goes to Irish Water to keep the door open. Just as this was decided a trend to lower emission cars rose sharply and an idiot could have told our short-sighted betters that Revenue had to fall as a result.
We hear this morning that, “Department of Finance officials are warning the move to more efficient cars could ‘could severely challenge the revenue’ generated for the exchequer,” to which you can only add, “What the fuck did you think would happen?” So the, ‘ahem,’ brains in Leinster House are considering the idea that “Drivers could be taxed on distance travelled.”
There are pros and cons to this of course but the self same duplicitous politicians are stuck with financing Irish Water and a falling road tax amount has to be addressed lest the whole sorry spectacle collapses and political appointees at the top find themselves out of a job. The powers that be have obviously got the bean counters on the case and they must be pretty sure that taxing on distance travelled will put up most peoples car tax. It is the core dishonesty I can’t stand because in reality your car tax should be gauged on the amount of water you use in your home. They wouldn’t touch that one with a barge poll though.
When this mess gets ‘sort of sorted,’ the next message from Revenue is bound to be about the rapidly falling tax take from tobacco. God knows what the tobacco taxes fund because it is in excess of a billion a year and non-smokers are going to have to somehow pay to fill the growing gap. The anti-drinks outfit want to kill the tax take on booze, typically a handy little earner, so as the drinkers turn to, I don’t know, illicit drugs for their kicks and because there’s no tax on cocaine, the tee-totalers may be expected to make up the shortfall in drink taxes.
It’s all a bit fluid.