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Review of fixed penalty notice system recommended

The Comptroller General said that the system has not resulted in changed behaviour in motor tax compliance.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A REVIEW OF the fixed penalty notice system should take place, the Comptroller and Auditor General has said.

It made the comments before the Oireachtas’ Public Accounts Committee yesterday.

The CAG found evidence that around 5 per cent of randomly sampled vehicles on the road in 2011 did not have a valid motor tax disc, which it said suggests that 125,000 vehicles on public roads are untaxed.

It said that motor tax had not been paid in respect of 40,000 vehicles between the date the fixed penalty notice was issued and April 2012. Of those that had paid tax after the fixed penalty notice was issued, 35,000 had made false declarations in the presence of a garda witness that their vehicle was not in use at the time.

According to the CAG, the fixed penalty notice system has not resulted in changed behaviour in relation to motor tax compliance in a significant number of cases. It said the integrity of the off-the-road declaration system is also seriously undermined when people declared their vehicle was off the road in front of a garda witness when this was not the case.

The report recommended a formal review of fixed penalty notices as a deterrent and better procedures to be devised to ensure the tax is paid when non-compliant owners are detected.

Read: Callinan “has no axe to grind” with penalty points whistleblowers>

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