December 24


first_imgSinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has hit back at “uninformed and opportunistic” comments by Fine Gael TD Joe Mc Hugh on the HGV levy.Deputy McHugh had slammed Martin McGuinness, the north’s joint first minister, over his “failure” to address the charges being levied on Donegal truckers every time they drive into the North.But Deputy Doherty said: “Sinn Fein have raised this issue at Council, Dáil and Assembly level and voiced our opposition in every political arena. Donegal Councillor Gary Doherty in particular has campaigned tirelessly to make sure Donegal hauliers are not penalised. “Deputy Mc Hugh ignores the fact that taxation is a matter for Westminster and that we have called for the British Secretary of State to exempt all local roads. Minister Varadkar in a reply to me stated that the British Minister had indicated “a willingness to consider certain, regional cross-border specified roads”.“Deputy Mc Hugh would be better served pushing his own Minister to capitalise on this potential rather than taking uninformed and opportunistic attacks on others campaigning for the same goal.“Let us be clear Sinn Féin is taking this seriously and we have put pressure on the Minister for the Environment in the north to ensure that Donegal is not peripheralised as a result of this ridiculous levy.“The levy is the latest regressive step from Westminster which ignores the needs of the people of the north and which fails to protect the northern economy and the island economy which generates £2.3bn for the island. “In these times of economic downturn we need to explore every avenue for economic growth not restrict it.“It is time the Irish Government acted in the interests of the people of Donegal and indeed the island and ensured that the British Secretary of state exempts the local northern road system.”Deputy Doherty added: Only this week the Northern Minister for the Environment, Mark Durkan stated in response to a Sinn Fein motion on the issue that no-one is collecting the levy here, but we are also aware that officials from the British Agency from the Vehicle Operations Services Agency have cautioned drivers for not paying the levy. We would ask Minister Durkan to clarify whether Donegal hauliers are to pay this charge?“Sinn Féin will continue to push for the exemption of northern roads to protect the people of Donegal from peripheralisation, protect small business from increased running costs, protect consumers from increased prices and to ensure that we maximise not restrict the gains from the island economy.” PEARSE DOHERTY SLAMS JOE McHUGH OVER HGV COMMENTS was last modified: May 17th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:HGV levyJoe McHughPearse Dohertyrowlast_img read more