LABOUR TD Gerald Nash has welcomed a directive that will be brought in the Finance Bill that he believes will help fight the rising rate of illegal fuel laundering in Louth. The problem is particularly pronounced in the Dundalk region along the border, with a number of high profile incidents in the last number of months.
“I am pleased that the Revenue Commissioners have confirmed that the forthcoming Finance Bill will see new measures designed to deal with the scourge of illegal fuel laundering. This is a particularly acute problem for legitimate fuel retailers in Louth and the clean-up costs to the taxpayer and to Louth County Council has escalated to a total of Euro 3.25million in the last few years.
“Compliant retailers are being hammered as a result of the ongoing mass availability of washed diesel and hundreds of jobs in Louth are at risk.
“I have focussed a lot of attention on this problem since my election and this week the Environment and Transport Committee of the Oireachtas of which I am a member held detailed meetings on the issue.
“The Revenue Commissioners, the local authority, the Gardai, Customs & Excise and other agencies have stepped up their work in respect of the illegal fuel trade with 32 stations across the State being forced to close in the last few months.
“A range of actions need to be considered to tackle this issue including more punitive fines and sentencing arrangements, a possible system of registration for legitimate businesses and the potential for a rebate scheme for the agricultural sector amongst other possibilities.
“I am pleased that the Revenue Commissioners have given me a strong commitment.”