An Taisce Pre Budget Submission

18th September 2013
Press Release

Parking levy on out-of-town retail outlets would raise more than €16m a year - An Taisce's Pre-Budget submission

Implementing Government policy for a parking levy to help level the playing field between out-of-town retail outlets and town centre shops would yield at least €16m a year, An Taisce has told Government in its pre-budget submission.

In a detailed document, An Taisce has set out how the application of a retail parking levy at six of the largest out-of-town retail outlets near Dublin, Cork and Limerick cities could raise €16.68m, adding that 85% of the revenue could be directed to local government with the other 15% going to the central exchequer.

According to An Taisce - The National Trust for Ireland, the parking levy should operate in much the same way as the plastic bag charge. For retail centres with more than 100 spaces it would be passed through to customers at a rate of 50 cents per hour, dropping to 45 cents for out-of-town shopping malls with 50 to 100 spaces.

The recommendations are part of a comprehensive package of measures proposed for inclusion in the upcoming Budget on 15 Oct, with other initiatives covering the following areas:

taxing vacant/derelict sites, bringing older buildings back into use,
supporting family farms, applying the solid fuel carbon tax fairly, buying new hybrid buses, enhancing the Cycle to Work scheme, and stopping the spread of highly-damaging invasive species.

ENDS

A one page summary is below and you can Download An Taisce's 2013 Pre Budget Submission (2Mb) PDF

For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce +353 87 2411995

James Nix, Policy Director, An Taisce Tel: +353 86 8394129

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

www.antaisce.ie

Pre-Budget Submission - September 2013

Executive Summary

Living cities

Vacant Land Tax: A tax on vacant land will need to be accompanied by a surcharge for sites converted to surface car parking after Budget day. Living City Initiative: Where tax relief is sought to rescue and restore buildings under the Living City Initiative, An Taisce proposes that the applicant submit his/her plans to the Heritage Council six weeks before a planning application is made. Under An Taisce's proposal, the Heritage Council will first advise both the applicant and Revenue Commissioners whether enhancement work on the building, assuming it is completed correctly, meets the objectives of the Living City Initiative (i.e. to establish whether tax relief applies in principle). Thereafter, the Heritage Council may advise the applicant of any recommendations to be taken on board in submitting the actual planning application. Agriculture and rural development

New agri-environment programmes are needed, especially for organic farming.

Better Energy

The Solid Fuel Carbon tax needs to be extended to all machine-extracted peat.

Transport

Cycling Measures: The cycle to work scheme has had a transformative effect on the uptake of cycling in Ireland and An Taisce and cycle advocacy organisations would like to see it continued and enhanced. Car Parking Measures: In line with the Government’s 2009 policy document, Smarter Travel - which recommends parking charges for large shopping centres where parking is free - a parking levy, needs to be introduced at retail centres with a suggested rate of 50 cent per hour. Procurement of Buses: An Taisce asks for procurement guidelines to be reformed, something which will likely see diesel hybrid electric buses added to the Bus fleets. Invasive Species

Property transactions for land with invasive species need to be paused until such time as the problem affecting that property is resolved.