BUDGET STATEMENT FROM EDDIE MURPHY, CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF FORD IRELAND

“I feel the increase in VAT is a retrograde step both for the whole economy as much as for the motor sector.  For Ireland’s top selling model, the Ford Focus, the VAT change will add about €450 to a new car.  That is regrettable because in many cases, car owners have deferred renewing their cars over the last number of years, and I really get the sense that every euro counts for a lot of customers in that position.  Having said that, I do think that, even with the VAT increase, there is still a lot of good value out there for customers who are looking for a new car in 2012.

The road tax increase represents a significant row back on the CO2-based taxation system that was introduced in 2008, as it hits hardest those car owners who opted for lower A and B band cars that produce the lowest CO2 emissions. In so doing, the Minister is negating a lot of the environmental gains that the industry has made over the last number of years.

On a positive note, I am sure the industry will welcome the initiative on export tax relief which brings us into line with other EU countries.”