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Help needed for Ireland's dealers

Motor retailers in Ireland have repeated calls for government support there after January's registrations plunged 66.5%.

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) said 3,000 jobs were lost in the last quarter of 2008 and more will follow if their is no support.

Alan Nolan, director general of SIMI, warned that Government revenue from new car sales fell from 2bn Euros in 2007 to 1.5bn Euros last year and government tax revenue from new car sales this year could drop to €500 million.

The SIMI's proposed rescue package for the Irish motor industry includes the introduction of a new scrappage scheme for cars 10 years or older.

SIMI has also asked for a review of the current practice on imposing VAT on the trade-in price of cars when the sale price is lower. For example, a car bought or accepted as a trade-in by a dealer may be have been valued at €20,000 but in the current climate it’s sold at €10,000. The VAT, however, is paid on the initial value.

Finally, the industry group is seeking increased enforcement by Revenue officials of the rules on re-registering imports and a crackdown on illegal roadside car dealers.

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