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
|2011 for 2010
|2012 for 2011
|2013 for 2012
|2014 for 2013
|2015 for 2014
|2016 for 2015
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.
Posted in Economic activities, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Modern matters, Politics, Shannon, Water sports activities, waterways
Tagged diesel, duty, European Union, fuel, green diesel, Ireland, marked fuel, marked gas oil, mineral oil tax, rebated fuel, revenue commissioners, tax
I showed here that very few boat-owners paid the Mineral Oil Tax for 2009 (38) and 2010 (41). I now have the figures for 2011 (MOT paid by 1 March 2012) and I can report that there has been a very significant change, of 46%, in the numbers paying the tax.
Unfortunately the change was downwards, from 41 to 22. The Revenue Commissioners tell me that
[…] there were 22 returns received by 1 March 2012 for 2011, amounting to €53,398.58 MOT [Mineral Oil Tax] on 141,503.29 litres oil.
That’s an average of 6432.1 litres each, which is a lot; I suspect that much of the total came from the hire fleet, with less than twenty private owners making returns.
This ridiculous tax should be scrapped; those operating private pleasure craft should be required to use non-rebated diesel.
Posted in Economic activities, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Politics, Waterways management
Tagged boats, diesel, Ireland, mineral oil tax, private pleasure craft, tax, tax-dodgers, vessels, waterways
According to the Sunday Business Post of 20 November 2011 (paywall),
There is growing momentum behind a proposal to abolish the use of a green dye in subsidised agricultural diesel because of its widespread abuse through diesel ‘washing’ facilities.
The Irish Road Haulage Association wants the Minister for Finance “to leave all diesel white in colour, but allow agricultural users like farmers and contractors to receive a rebate for the diesel they purchase for agricultural use.”
Were this proposal adopted, it would mean that owners of private pleasure craft would be relieved of the obligation to make an annual return of their propulsion fuel purchases to the Revenue Commissioners, a return that must be accompanied by a cheque for the difference between the low price they currently pay for green diesel and the full price for white diesel. As I an quite sure that all owners are making such returns, the IRHA proposal would not increase the cost of boat use and would remove the form-filling.
I am so confident that all owners of private pleasure craft pay in full that I have asked the Revenue Commissioners to tell me how much the owners paid in each of the last two years.
Note, by the way, that the SBP’s account is at odds with that in the Irish Times on 9 November 2011, which said:
THE GOVERNMENT has effectively ruled out a rebate system to farmers and other legitimate users of agricultural or marked diesel to combat fuel laundering.
No doubt much spinning is going on.
Posted in Ashore, Economic activities, Ireland, Irish waterways general, Operations, Politics, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged boats, diesel, green, Ireland, private pleasure craft, rebate, Revenue, vessels, waterways, white
Text of email sent today to the Revenue Commissioners press office:
I would be grateful if you could tell me:
– how much marked gas oil was supplied to sellers of diesel fuel along Irish inland waterways in years ending 31 December 2009 and 2010
– what rates of duty applied in those periods
– how much duty was paid by owners of private pleasure craft for each of those years using form PPN1 Mineral Oil Tax Return.
Posted in Ireland, Irish waterways general, Politics
Tagged boats, diesel, duty, engine, fuel, green diesel, Ireland, red diesel, tax
The Listowel & Ballybunion Railway operated between 1888 and 1924, using perhaps the most eccentric railway technology ever invented: the monorail developed by Charles Lartigue.
Very little original material was left after the railway closed, but a short section of railway has been recreated in the town of Listowel, Co Kerry, with a single locomotive (now diesel rather than steam) and two carriages. However, it shows the more exciting features of the original: the ingenious turntables and switches. There is also a small display of models, photographs and artefacts, and a showing of three short films, with some original newsreel footage of the railway in operation. The volunteer staff are knowledgeable and happy to chat and, all in all, it makes for a very entertaining few hours for anyone interested in transport or engineering.
Listowel is close to Ballybunion on the south side of the Shannon Estuary; anyone visiting the industrial heritage artefacts of the Lower Shannon Industrial Heritage Park could easily build in a visit to the Lartigue – and then take the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and visit the West Clare Railway.
Read about the Lartigue here.
Posted in Economic activities, Industrial heritage, Non-waterway, shannon estuary
Tagged Ballybunion, Clare, diesel, ferry, industrial heritage, Ireland, Kerry, Kilrush, Lartigue, Limerick, Listowel, monorail, railway, Shannon, steam, transport history
A short piece about the West Clare Railway. After all, L T C Rolt included a chapter on the WCR in a book about Irish waterways ….
Posted in Irish waterways general, Non-waterway
Tagged diesel, Ireland, Kilkee, Kilrush, Moyasta, Percy French, Rolt, Shannon, Sherlock Holmes, steam, West Clare Railway