It will be recalled that, for many years, the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Ireland subsidised the owners of private pleasure craft by allowing them to use the cheap diesel permitted for off-road use (not that farmers should get subsidies either). The EU (or whatever it was called at the time) told them to stop; they asked for, and received, several derogations to allow them time to comply; during that time they stuck their thumbs in their collective bums and did nothing. Eventually the EU got fed up and told them to get on with it.
The Irish government’s pretence at compliance was particularly ludicrous and contemptible. It said that yacht-owners (using “yacht” as shorthand for “private pleasure craft”) could continue to buy marked gas-oil (cheap or green diesel) at the rebated (cheap) price but that, once a year, they should tell the Revenue Commissioners how much they had bought, work out the amount of the underpayment and pay that sum to the Revenue.
I can’t imagine how the Revenue Commissioners thought that was going to work, but they seem to have been happy with a scheme that facilitated — nay, encouraged — tax evasion by those sufficiently well off to own yachts. Someone in the Irish Times, perhaps after having had his or her ear bent over a few pink gins at the bar of the George, referred to this as an “honour system”; there was no evidence that she or he had actually checked the compliance rate to assess the effectiveness of the scheme and the extent of honour amongst yacht-owners.
The figures for the year 2015, as of 15 April 2016, were kindly supplied by the Revenue Commissioners some months ago; here they are, with those for previous years.
For the record:
|2010 for 2009||38||n/a||n/a|
|2011 for 2010||41||n/a||n/a|
|2012 for 2011||22||141,503.29||€53,398.58|
|2013 for 2012||23||301,674||€113,841.45|
|2014 for 2013||20||279,842.4||€105,561.74|
|2015 for 2014||26||289,151||€108,934.80|
|2016 for 2015||18||371,666||€140,021.51|
I suspect that the increase in the number of litres paid for might represent the improved business for the hire fleets in 2015, but I would welcome information on the subject.
In 2015 the Irish Sports Council gave the Irish Sailing Association €1,121,900.