Dáil Éireann - Volume 507 - 29 June, 1999
Written Answers. - Vehicle Registration Tax.
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
117. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance if he has examined the recommendation from the consultancy on the taxi business to remove vehicle registration tax from wheelchair accessible taxis; the plans, if any, he has to introduce this change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16701/99]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): I am aware of the recommendations of the Dublin Taxi Forum which were issued in August 1998. In  all more than 40 recommendations were issued, including the recommendation that all wheelchair
accessible taxis coming on stream, under the arrangements proposed, should be zero rated for vehicle registration tax.
I have no plans to remove or reduce the VRT on wheelchair accessible taxis. This matter was considered last year in the context of the preparation for the Committee Stage of the Finance Bill. At that time, it was estimated that the cost to the Exchequer of a refund of VRT on such taxis could be prohibitive if there were a full take-up of the scheme. If the proposed VRT relief were to be restricted to the additional licences issued in future for wheelchair accessible taxis, the potential costs would be correspondingly less. However, such a move could lead to pressure for extension of the relief, on competitive grounds, to all taxis and hackneys – new and old licences alike – and would be impossible to ring fence.
I understand that Dublin Corporation intends to issue a total of 820 wheelchair accessible licences between now and the year 2001. I have also been informed that the demand for the initial batch of licences, which were advertised in the press recently, far outstripped the number required. It would appear that the application of VRT was not a hindering factor.
Dáil Éireann 507 Written Answers. Vehicle Registration Tax.