Cashel Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Browne has described Minister Leo Varadkar’s announcement that €42 million is to be reallocated to improve rural roads as pittance compared to over €1 billion collected by the exchequer every single year directly from motor related revenue.
Cllr Browne, while welcoming that something is finally being done about our crumbling road infrastructure, admitted that this was too little, too late.
“Minister Varadkar is quite correct when he says that ‘It is obvious to anyone who lives or drives through rural areas that some road surfaces are in need of repair’. I would go a step further and say that most road surfaces are in need of repair and that is because people like Minister Varadkar have neglected this issue for so long and are now trying to pass it off as something that has just popped up. Dangerous road conditions have been a reality for a majority of County Tipperary drivers for many years now.”
“While I welcome the reallocation of €42 million to allow for vital repairs to our road infrastructure, it does appear to be a case of too little, too late. In last years budget road tax was increased. It may come as a surprise to many who pay this tax that the revenue generated from it does not automatically go to maintaining our road network, but instead is pumped back into central government to pay excessive wages and cover the cost of St Patrick’s Day junkets for our government TDs.”
“Every year our government collects over €1 billion in motor related revenue. If you add in the 7.5% hike on motor tax in the last budget plus the vat intake on petrol and diesel, then the €42 million divided between 29 County Councils is grossly inadequate. There are 2.5 million registered motorists in Ireland paying through the nose for a service that seems to be strangely under-funded.”
“Many secondary roads across this county are literally crumbing away. These potholed infested by ways are a danger to drivers and a cause of considerable financial loss. It is unreasonable to force drivers to pay high road tax and then leave them to the mercy of these road conditions. It’s time that all revenue generated from road tax be reinvested back into the maintenance and construction of our roads.”