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Commercial Vehicle Status Versus The State Mercedes

Commercial Vehicle The State Mercedes S350

The Department of Transport earlier this month issued a circular (Circular Letter MT 4 2010) on the rules and regulations regarding motor tax for commercial vehicles, following an increase in the number of vehicles switching from private motor tax classes to commercial vehicle classes.

Owners of vehicles currently taxed for commercial purposes face no additional requirements regarding forms or declarations other than they did in the past.

The  Form RF111A Goods Declaration, which requires applicants to make a promise that the vehicle will only be used for commercial purposes, has always been a requirement when first taxing a small commercial vehicle.  One small change has been made to Form RF 111A , which now requires an applicant who is applying for a vehicle to be taxed at the goods rate to provide a Revenue registration identity number.   This is to help ensure that the appropriate rate of tax is paid.

There is nothing whatsoever new about owners of commercial vehicles being required to confirm that they are not using them for private purposes, so recent attacks on poor misunderstood Johnny Gormley are for the most part without foundation.

The fuss is being generated by headline grabbing politico’s who as we get neared to a general election, behave like drowning men snatching at small straws.

This Goods Declaration updating  has raised concerns among farmers, small businesses and the motor industry, and prompted calls for clarification and flexibility on the use of commercial vehicles. It is ludicrous and wasteful of resources to suggest that a small business owner, farmer or tradesman would be unable to use a commercially taxed vehicle for minor personal use over the course of his day’s work and any attempt to enforce same would be totally farcical.

However  there is one piece of legislation which we the Irish Taxpayer would like Johnny Gormley to change.

Please ensure that current commercial vehicle custom and practice is rigorously applied to the Government Mercedes. Currently all elected representatives who are given a State car, should, on receipt of same, sign an agreement to the following effect:-

1. I agree never to abuse the generosity of the hardworking plebes whose daily sweat pays for my State car and I will use local Taxis, Bicycle, Dart and Train where same is more practicable.

2. I agree to only use the State car for official business and never for my constituency duties including attending Funerals, Charity Fund Raising events, Soccer, Rugby or GAA matches, official openings of Public Houses and Book Launches.

3. I agree to never instruct my police driver to take an empty State Car to pick me up at a Summer School or to drive ahead to meet me at the next airport to which I propose to fly.

4. I agree not to use the State car for the transport or collection of clothing at the Dry cleaners, Fish and Chips, conveyance of Family Pets and Family Members on School Runs, Sleep Overs, Trips to Airports and the Sea Side, not to mention Family Shopping Expeditions.

5. I fully understand that in total this ministerial fleet costs about €7 million a year to maintain, in terms of drivers’ salaries, expenses, and of course necessary car maintenance and all paid for by my duped electorate.

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