Emergency support of €18 million for hauliers has been announced today (March 11) by the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan and the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton.

A temporary grant scheme will provide a payment of €100/week for every heavy goods vehicle (HGV) over 3.5 tonnes as listed on a road haulage operator’s licence.

The scheme will operate for a period of eight weeks and will be reviewed thereafter.

The emergency measure aims to address cost pressures due to high fuel prices, particularly impacted by the current conflict in Ukraine.

Minister Ryan stated:

“Today’s measure reflects government understanding of that pressure and its recognition of the important role that the haulage industry plays in keeping the country going.

“The haulage sector has a hugely important role to play in the economy and in keeping vital goods available to people and businesses – it is critically important to Ireland’s supply chains, both national and international,” he added.

Minister Naughton with responsibility for road haulage and logistics said this measure follows the excise reduction earlier this week in response to fuel price increases, which are affecting all sectors of the economy. 

She added that the government is fully aware that a licenced haulier’s fuel costs represent a much greater proportion of overheads than for other businesses.

Details on how to avail of the scheme will be communicated to hauliers in the coming days.

‘Government misses the point yet again’

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice criticised the emergency support as cost increases in recent weeks will far outweigh the €100, considering travel distances and the amount of fuel required.

“Over a period of 8 weeks, the payments will amount to €800 for a single truck and the budget of €18 million covers just over 22,000 HGVs.

“But when you look at the number of HGVs taxed in Ireland, the figure stands at almost double as per a consultation document on the future of the haulage industry, published by the government last year.

“There are many HGVs which are privately-owned across the country which don’t require the owner to obtain a haulage operator’s licence. For instance, if the owners are transporting their own produce, the licence is not required,” Deputy Fitzmaurice explained.

He added that these people will not be considered in the scheme, unable to claim the assistance.

The independent TD said that the government must make measures more inclusive otherwise it will cause a divide in the sector.