Give the motor trade a boost
THE motor trade in Co. Wexford, like every other retail business in the country, is suffering severely from the recession and the lack of incentives and assistance from both national and local government.
With approximately 2,000 people employed in the motor industry directly and indirectly in the county, it is a major contributor to the exchequer.
But with only 1,500 registrations in the county so far this year between 30 different marques, including tractors and motorbikes, there will be a huge drop in revenue, which our government needs to address.
The money is not there. There is no spare cash. Times are tough.
So we need some sort of stimulus to encourage people to upgrade their older vehicles.
Businesses are suffering severe hardship, so there is certainly a case for reductions in rates to help us cut our costs over the next few years.
Since the abolition of the scrappage scheme we have had no input from our government to help grow what should be one of their most lucrative sectors.
An average new family can generate €8,200 in income for the Revenue between VAT and VRT.
The government needs to come up with incentives to encourage people who would be in the market to trade.
They need to introduce a system where people with four-, five- and six-year-old cars can benefit. People with cars in this bracket are being penalised with higher road tax compared to those with newer models. Maybe offer some kind of incentive, or maybe a VRT reduction. It would create more revenue and keep the industry alive and jobs intact.
Aftersales is another issue which needs to be addressed. We are losing out to the black economy and it baffles me again why our government is not addressing this matter as it is another huge loss of Revenue.
We, as a motor industry, need to get together to get the word out that the main dealer workshops and authorised repairs are no more expensive when you take into account genuine parts, which last longer and are guaranteed, repairs are carried out quicker with proper equipment, and trained technicians work in a safe environment.
I would like to publicly invite our local representatives to meet with us and realise what a matter of urgency it is for them to act now before the industry and the entire retail sector dies on its knees and many more people have to join the unemployment queues or emigrate.
I'm sure this is not the first time they have heard that with this level of austerity there cannot be growth.
I feel they are in a bubble in their government offices and they need to get out and walk the streets of Wexford and talk to retailers and see what is happening to our town.
We would also like to take this opportunity to let people know that local dealers are having the motor show on the quay this year again to try to generate some sales for the July 132 reg.
Our cars have never been such good value. With all sorts of offers and prices, now is the time to buy.