CTTC urges Broadening of Inclusion Criteria in VAT71 Relief Scheme for Buses 

The CTTC, is calling on government to support sustainability, innovation and accessibility in the transport system by broadening the criteria for inclusion in the VAT71 relief scheme. 

The Coach Tourism and Transport Council (CTTC) is calling on the government to broaden the criteria of the VAT71 relief scheme to include buses that do not meet the specific dimensions outlined in current guidelines. By expanding the criteria, as called for in the association’s pre-Budget submission, the government can further support its climate ambitions and unlock the numerous benefits that buses bring to the transportation sector. 

The CTTC acknowledges the government’s efforts in promoting sustainable transport options and reducing carbon emissions. Buses play a crucial role in achieving these goals by providing an environmentally friendly mode of transportation for both local communities and tourists. In the context of the Government’s ambition to achieve a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from transport by 2030, It is essential that the VAT71 relief scheme reflects the diverse needs of the industry and encourages the adoption of greener alternatives. 

Many buses that may not meet the exact current specifications, including low-floor service vehicles, can still contribute significantly to the government’s climate ambitions whilst providing valuable transport services within our towns and cities. Without meaningful government action, investment by commercial bus operators in more sustainable vehicle options, will remain financially unviable. 

By broadening the inclusion criteria to include all buses, regardless of their use within the transport network, the government can unlock tangible benefits such as: 

  • Increased adoption of low-emission and zero-emission buses: Buses not meeting the specific dimensions but equipped with advanced eco-friendly technologies can contribute to reducing carbon emissions, air pollution, and noise levels in urban environments. 
  • Enhanced capacity and accessibility: Broader inclusion criteria would allow for a wider variety of bus models, catering to different passenger capacities and accessibility requirements. This would improve the overall efficiency and inclusivity of public transportation. 
  • Encouraging innovation and competition: Expanding the criteria would promote innovation within the bus manufacturing industry, encouraging the development of new and improved technologies that align with the government’s climate goals. 

Speaking today, Chairperson of the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland, William Martin said: “By limiting the inclusion of buses in the VAT71 relief scheme to only those meeting specific criteria, we risk overlooking the immense potential of buses that may not fit those dimensions. For industry to truly support the government’s climate ambitions and foster sustainable transport, we must broaden the criteria and embrace the diverse range of buses servicing our towns and cities. This will not only accelerate the adoption of greener alternatives and promote innovation, but in tandem enhance capacity, and ensure greater accessibility for all. It is time to prioritise a comprehensive approach that encompasses the broader benefits buses bring to our transportation landscape.” 

The CTTC believes that a more inclusive VAT71 relief scheme for buses would drive sustainable growth in the tourism and transport sectors, benefiting the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. We urge the government to review the criteria and take proactive measures to support the diverse range of buses that contribute to achieving our shared climate ambitions.