Motor industry budget proposal will create 42 jobs in Westmeath

A new proposed scheme by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI ) will help create 42 jobs in Westmeath if the Government agree to the idea which was part of SIMI’s pre-budget submission announced this week.

The ‘Swappage’ proposal would see a €2,000 reduction in VRT on the purchase of a new car where the trade-in is six years or older. The SIMI estimate that this will see an increase of 17,000 new cars sold across the country, creating 2,200 jobs, producing €129 million for the Irish Exchequer and also cutting CO2 emissions by 11,500 tonnes per year.

Ed Tyrrell, SIMI centre chairman for Westmeath, said; “Like every village, town and city across Ireland the Westmeath motor industry has been hit just as badly as everywhere else. The prospect of having 42 new jobs in the industry in Westmeath alone next year would be a huge boost. It would be light at the end of the tunnel for us all after six terrible years. It will also save 482 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the county. Swappage is a no brainer for the Government and like the scrappage scheme, has the potential to re-invigorate an industry that’s on its knees,” he said.

Alan Nolan, director general, SIMI, said; “Similar to scrappage but much more beneficial to the Exchequer, Swappage has the potential to deliver an even greater benefit but at no greater risk to tax revenues, the industry or the State. If Swappage is introduced next year, it could help new car sales reach 90,000. On top of that, there would be an increase in used car sales and servicing due to the cycle of business generated by the resale of trade-ins and local jobs and businesses in 400 towns across the country would be protected.”

The Irish motor industry has suffered a huge slump over the past six years. In 2007 186,000 new cars were sold; this year it is projected that 73,000 new cars will be sold. In the past six years 12,800 jobs have been lost in the motor industry and 150 garages have closed. SIMI feel that an initiative like Swappage will help turn the tide for the motor industry in Ireland and at the very least stop the huge loss in jobs that are occurring in the sector.

SIMI forecast that unless there is a new initiative to help the industry get back on its feet then we will see the closure of 250 businesses and the loss of 5,000 jobs in the next five years. For more information on Swappage log on to www.SwappageScheme.ie

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