The Fianna Fail councillor said the haulage industry is a vital link to mainland Europe for the whole island of Ireland for industries such as agriculture sector.
Recent news that a large National haulage company is to cease trading with the loss of almost 400 jobs, is very working and is in keeping with what the Haulage Trade has been saying for some time now, he said.
“The Government cannot sit idly by and watch the Irish haulage industry disintegrate. They need to immediately bring forward legislative measures to safeguard the industry,” said Cllr Mc Gowan .
“The collapse of Target Express is a clear signal that Irish haulage sector has been in a state of crisis for some time now , and nearly 20% of haulage companies have gone out of business since 2012 representing 5,000 jobs losses.
“The spiraling cost of fuel has hugely impacted on haulers, fuel now accounts for 50% of these companies’ cost based compared to 30% previously. International haulers also have an advantage over Irish companies as they can benefit from a fuel rebate. Law abiding haulers are also placed at an unfair disadvantage as unscrupulous operators are using laundered green diesel. This reduces the competitiveness of legitimate companies and we know the slightest advantage can be the difference between a company surviving and not.”
The road haulage industry contributes over €1 billion to the general exchequer but receives no financial assistance from the Government.
The Donegal councillor says if it is to survive something must be done by the Government to ease the pressure.
“The industry is under attack, its collapse would severely impact on our competitiveness internationally. It would also be hugely problematic transporting goods within Ireland and between Ireland and our important overseas markets, especially during the winter months due to the adverse weather condition.
Higher transport Cost’s will mean consumers in Ireland paying more for their goods.
Cllr Mc Gowan said the Government needs to consider proposals to implement a fuel rebate scheme for haulage companies together with a mechanism to address the impact of laundered fuel.
“Recent Proposal’s from the Haulage could benefit the overall tax take if Haulage firms bought more fuel in Ireland instead of filling on the continent before returning home .