Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton have led out an agreement that will see the implementation of an emergency support measure for licensed hauliers to address cost pressures arising from current high fuel prices, particularly as a consequence of the current conflict in Ukraine.
The Ministers have agreed a targeted and temporary grant scheme that will provide a payment of €100 per week for every heavy goods vehicle (over 3.5 tonnes) as listed on a road haulage operator’s licence. The scheme will operate for a period of 8 weeks and will be reviewed thereafter. The estimated cost to the State for the temporary response to extraordinary circumstances is €18 million.
Minister Ryan said ‘The haulage sector has a hugely important role to play in the economy and in keeping vital goods available to people and business – it is critically important to Ireland’s supply chains, both national and international. The past 2 years have presented many challenges for the sector. Brexit, COVID-19 and now the crisis in Ukraine have put a cumulative pressure on the haulage industry. Today’s measure reflects Government understanding of that pressure and its recognition of the important role that the haulage industry plays in keeping the country going’.
Minister Naughton with responsibility for road haulage and logistics added ‘Having met with the Irish Road Haulage Association earlier this week it became abundantly clear that Government needed to provide immediate support to a sector upon which every family, business and community so heavily relies. This measure comes after the excise reduction by Government earlier this week in response to fuel price increases, which are affecting all sectors of the economy. However, Government is fully aware that a licenced haulier providing services for hire or reward, fuel costs represent a much greater proportion of overheads than for other businesses. The vital role that hauliers play in the supply chain is also an important factor and these services must be protected to ensure the country can keep operating in these very challenging times. I commend the hauliers for their resilience during this difficult period and I hope this measure will help alleviate some of the pressure arising for the sector at this particular time’
Details on how to avail of the scheme will be communicated to hauliers in the coming days.
Meanwhile the Irish Road Haulage Association’s (IRHA) Management Team have been in constant contact with all agencies involved with fuel supply and have been assured that there is enough fuel. There is a ship due in tomorrow and more next week and while fuel is tight, there is enough.
Demand should start to slack off as the big rush to stockpile has calmed and with ships coming in, things will start to improve.
While the IRHA has been reassured that there is enough fuel, it might be sporadic throughout the country until next week.