Haulers say they are overwhelmed with fuel costs and need urgent assistance

Haulers are demanding government compensation for rising fuel costs, climate improvements and Brexit, and say new workers’ rights should be deferred to save them money.

Well ahead of the budget, the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has also called for biofuel subsidies for farmers who agree to culling dairy and cattle herds. Fuel costs have doubled for some truckers since the pandemic, IRHA said.

Meanwhile, Brexit costs are rising, with direct shipping routes to Europe costing €310 more per trip than using the UK land bridge due to the extra distance travelled, extra fuel, labor costs and other charges. Hauliers are demanding upfront payments from the €1bn Brexit adjustment reserve allocated to Ireland by the EU.

The news comes as haulage companies are predicting the fallout from a dockers’ strike in Felixstowe, England, and also possible industrial action in Liverpool, which serves as a feeder port for Ireland’s US imports.

British workers are on strike over pay after inflation rose to over 10 percent in July.

IRHA wants the government to delay benefits for new workers, including the living wage, automatic retirement filing and statutory sick pay, to save them money.

It claims it pays more excise and fuel taxes than any other sector due to its reliance on diesel, while it cannot afford to upgrade its fleet to meet EU climate standards.

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Eugene Drennan of the Irish Road Haulage Association

“We’re going to be as green as we can in a few years, but we need the government’s support with our diesel rebate and with helping us get newer vehicles,” said President Eugene Drennan.

“We will accept the challenge given to us, but we cannot always be the great tax collectors. We levy too many taxes because we are the biggest consumers of fuel. And we are indispensable [workers].”

IRHA is calling for a permanent excise tax reduction, extended diesel rebates and a fuel levy refund backdated to the start of the pandemic. She is also calling for EU loans and toll exemptions for newer, greener trucks, and saying farmers should be paid to grow vegetable oils like rapeseed to make biofuel.

“Farmers willing to butcher cattle should be incentivized to plant canola as part of their compensation,” the IRHA budget proposal says.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/hauliers-say-they-are-overtaxed-on-fuel-costs-and-need-urgent-support-41943288.html Haulers say they are overwhelmed with fuel costs and need urgent assistance

Fry Electronics Team

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