Engineers Ireland has welcomed Budget measures to assist Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy including incentives for electric vehicle adoption. The membership body had called for such measures to encourage drivers to purchase electric vehicles
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Engineers Ireland has welcomed measures in Budget 2017 to assist in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy including the extension of relief from vehicle registration tax (VRT) on electric vehicles for a period of five years and also the extension of VRT relief for hybrid vehicles for two years.

A relief from carbon tax for solid fuels that include a biomass element to incentivise the development of greener fuels, has also been welcomed by the professional body.

The €90 million allocation to enhance the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, the Better Energy Grant Scheme and the electric vehicle subsidy, to assist with efficient home-heating, improved energy efficiency in businesses and to promote the use of domestic electric cars also received a positive response.

“We particularly welcome the incentives for electric vehicle adoption for Irish consumers. In our State of Ireland 2016 report and our pre-budget submission we called for such measures to encourage drivers to purchase electric vehicles which need to form a much bigger part of the transport fuel mix. With road-based transport equating to 80.6 per cent of all journeys (and private cars making up the majority of that figure at 55.8 per cent), electric vehicles have the potential to make a real impact over time on our environment.  In tandem with these kinds of financial incentives, we also need through a proactive education campaign, to advise our citizens on how their choice of fuel impacts on the global environment and climate change,” said Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland.

Spillane also welcomed the total capital spending package of over €4.5 billion across a range of Government departments which will progress spend on regional and local roads, flood relief schemes and the opening of LUAS cross city in 2017. This represents an increase of almost €400 million on the 2016 out-turn, reflecting progress in implementing the Government’s capital plan, ‘Building on Recovery’, published in 2015.  This represents a 26 per cent increase in capital expenditure in comparison to 2014.

“Our membership, which represents the full spectrum of the engineering profession, has been concerned about under-funding of capital development projects given Ireland’s current and future demographics and has been advocating for this increased investment.  We also welcome the early review of the capital plan and the promised, ambitious programme of capital investment next year.”

The membership body also welcomed the €15 million to help progress the National Broadband Plan (NBP). “While some progress has been made in the last number of years there are still some frustrating delays within rural areas. The single most outstanding issue is the awarding of the NBP intervention to a contractor and to confirm the deployment schedule nationally,” concluded Spillane.

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Engineers Ireland has welcomed measures in Budget 2017 to assist in Ireland’s transition to a low carbon economy including the extension of relief from vehicle registration tax (VRT) on electric vehicles for a period of five years and also the extension of VRT relief for hybrid vehicles for two...