Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Bill Cullen - Greens' VRT killed Irish motor industry

It’s a long way from penny apples for some, and it will be a long time before the Irish motor industry picks itself up from the floor.

Bill Cullen, the Irish businessman who heads up RTE show “The Apprentice”, blames the Green-inspired VRT changes for sounding the death knell for the Irish motor industry.

“You’ve killed the motor trade. People can’t buy a new car and it’s all because of the Greens”, he said in a debate with Green senator Dan Boyle on yesterday's Pat Kenny Show . Cullen maintains that the VRT changes were "unnecessary" as the EU has already required car manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions by 2010.

While it’s doubtful that changes in the way VRT is inflicted are soley to blame for the stagnancy in the car market (the bursting of the bubble and the end of easy credit have to be primary causes) some might maintain that the tax changes were mere tokenism - and an attempt by Government to give some green credulity to what is essentially an unfair, uncompetitive and anti-EU tax.

Successive Irish governments have forced Irish motorists to pay substantially more for their cars than most other EU citizens, by as much as up 40% more in some cases. They have also denied motorists living in Ireland the right to import their cars into this country without paying what is effectively excise duty.

But now they disguise it as a “green” tax. In fact, they might have us believe they were world-leading visionaries in saving the planet, as they were taxing us blind before green issues were ever on the agenda. But we all know we don’t do visionaries here.

Bill Cullen is a rich man. So instead of discussing the finer points of tinkering with a tax that is contrary to EU principles, perhaps he should use his influence and wealth in a campaign to have it abolished altogether.

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Lew said...

The one thing that really pisses me off not just in Ireland or England but everywhere is all the talk about "global warming" and "green credentials"

One of the things I rememver most from my school days (other than the headmaster throwing the slops out of his cup over the class when he finished drinking it) was the geography lessons

We were taught that the earth has been through many ice ages, and it continually goes through stages where it cools down so much a new ice age forms, but before that the earth warms right up so it's almost tropical all over

Global Warming I would have called it.

If its a natural thing and it's been happening for millions of years, then what on earth does it matter what car we use, how much co2 it produces?

if the earth is going through a warming stage (which to me it obviously is) then what on earth is paying extra "tax" on everything going to do?

Although the taxes may be labelled "green taxes" how are they going to stop nature going its course?

No goverment or policy is going to stop it, and I doubt very much anything can slow it.

Or maybe I was just dreaming while I was at school and it's all in my mind!

pema said...

No Lew, you were not dreaming. I remember the very same when I was at school, and reading about geo-history you have the proof of ups and downs in climate change.

But things are not that simple, unfortunately. This time it's the speed and extend which are worrying and which without a doubt have man-made causes, plus the effects on a mostly developed and certainly overpopulated world, and the awareness about human costs, about the worth of human lives - which was unheard of before and during the last ice age. Well, literally - don't believe Disney's Ice Age ...

I agree that nothing can stop some sort of climate change, that seems to be the way the world goes, but it might be just an excuse for fancy taxes and industries. But basically we all as humankind are responsible for the way how natural and slow developments get worse and faster - and money is where it hurts the ordinary consumer.
Taxes or other levies are a good first step to educate people. A first step, but nothing more. And sometimes not even introduced to save the world but to cover the expenses for damage limiting.

Where were we? Ah, VRT and changes. Well, that's a rip-off par excellence, changes or not, has nothing to do with green thinking or saving the world, whatever this Cullen fella says. Who is he anyway? Apart from being a new homemade celebrity. Does he deserve to be mentioned in a fine blog as this one?

The Gombeen Man said...

I seem to recall something similar Lew, now that you say it. Whatever about that debate though, I'm just blue in the face listening to all the self-righteous posturing on the issue by some of the newly "green" contingent.

For instance, I'm a car enthusiast, and pay €1,050 a year road tax for a vehicle I put very little mileage on, as it sits in the garage when I use public transport every day for work. And let's not even talk about the VRT.

Yet someone might have a car with a smaller engine, pay less tax (VRT and road tax) yet use the thing all the time (and as a feet substitute), therefore putting out far more emissions than I do - yet there'd be some people out there who'd brand me an eco-terrorist if they see me driving by!!!

What can you do?

The Gombeen Man said...

Sorry Pema... just saw your comment now, even though you and Lew posted much earlier according to the time stamp they are only coming in now (yours just as I was responding to Lew's). The Idiosyncracies of "Blogger", I'm afraid!

Thanks for the compliment re the blog! I'm chuffed! Yes, it's not often you'll see a spokesman for the Irish business class feted here, but I was glad he had a pop on the issue of the "greening" of VRT (even if only very mild one!)