The Wicklow councillor made the comments when it emerged that older citizens and ‘cocooners’ were being charged arrears of motor tax back to March with no allowances made due to lockdown.
Wicklow County Council has said that those who did not drive during lockdown will have to pay arrears on any unpaid motor tax, and that this is due to national legislation outside of council control.
Having been contacted by a number of older people who raised the issue with him, Joe Behan said “This is grossly unfair to the many thousands of older people in County Wicklow who are being punished for obeying Government warnings.
“It seems there will be no change in this policy. I think it is a disgrace and I am calling for a waiver of motor tax arrears for all citizens, especially cocooners, who could not use their cars during the lockdown.”
In response, Wicklow County Council’s Head of Finance, Brian Gleeson, said that he understands the frustration over the apparent unfairness, but “Wicklow County Council is unfortunately restricted by legislation from waiving these arrears.”