June 27, 2009

Our Aims

We have an NCT test that is neither fair, safe or consistent but a money spinner for a Non EU Company who are taking millions of euro illegally from the Irish citizen, by failing vehicles in order to maximise profits and our Government stood idly by and did nothing. The NCT Company have violated their contract by falsely taking money and this Association have addressed these concerns to the Department of Transport, who have shown arrogance and refused to address the matters. The NCT have a monopoly in contravention of EU Competition Law and Articles 81 & 82 in depriving the consumer of a choice. The cost of the test is expensive at €50 for 20 minutes inspection, equating to €150 per hour which no garage in the country charges, while the customer is expected to participate in facilitating the inspection. It is our belief that thousands of cars are deliberately failed for trivial matters unconnected with the cars roadworthiness or safety.

Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) deprives the citizen of their EC Law rights under Article 25 of the Treaty of Rome which prohibited customs and excise duty and charges having the equivalent effect, on goods between Member States. By referendum, we acceded to the EU on the 1st. January 1973 and the benefits therewith under the Treaty Articles. Our Government have deviated from their Treaty obligations and deprived the citizen of these benefits by simply charging the prohibited customs duty on cars under a different name (VRT) and applied it under a different criteria, namely first registration of a new or second-hand imported vehicle, and have the arrogance and audacity to call this ‘internal taxation’. This is not democracy as the will of the nation has not been given effect to. The abolition of VRT would create cheaper cars, more volume in sales, improve safety on our roads and create a win-win situation for all.

The ‘rip-off’ in Motor tax and fuel costs is mind boggling. Excise duty on a litre of petrol is prohibitively high at 62.5%. The ‘system’ does not recognise overpayment of motor tax nor refund a citizen unused portions of road tax even when there are more than 3 months road tax remaining on the disc. A citizen driving a larger engine capacity car is discriminated against by higher road tax. All of the aforementioned could be substantially eliminated by including the road tax in the petrol such as exists in other EU States. Why are these ‘benefits’ being denied to Irish citizens? Why are these opportunities not being explored? Why is only 25 % (or Less) of your motor tax being spent on the roads?

There are 35 ways presently of obtaining ‘Penalty Points’ on your licence, another money-spinner for the Government. For the most ‘minor’ offence, a motorist is penalised 3 times. Exceeding the speed limit attracts 2 penalty points, an €80 fine which in turn affects your insurance premium of which the Government get 2%. Such draconian measures are not acceptable. If a citizen contests the ‘points’ and loses, the fine is increased to €800 and the ‘points’ doubled or trebled. The Courts were always available to the citizen without further penalty. The Minister has damaged democracy by ‘closing’ off the avenue of an appeal to the Courts. The Association is not against ‘penalty points’ nor the NCT. We can no longer stand idly by and watch our members and the motorists of Ireland being ‘ripped-off’.

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