Senator slams city closure of car tax offices
CITY bosses have come under fire following a decision to shut the capital's three motor tax offices.
The outlets will be closed next week as staff attempt to deal with a massive backlog in applications.
The offices, located in Ballymun, Clondalkin and Smithfield, will be shut to the public from November 11-15.
Dublin City Council claimed that the introduction of new credit card-sized driving licenses and changes to the law regarding non-use declarations resulted in a significant backlog.
The week-long closures were announced just months after the introduction of a series of curtailments on the offices.
Fianna Fail last night said the closures would cause "major inconveniences", particularly for pensioners.
The party's Dublin spokesperson, Senator Darragh O'Brien, expressed concern about the resources available to the offices.
"The bottom line is, this is a big inconvenience to people. But it's not only an inconvenience, it shows really bad planning," he told the Herald.
"Looking at this situation, it's quite clear the offices are under resourced and can't manage the workload that's there.
"It's all very well to say one can access these services online but some people don't have these facilities, particularly the elderly."
According to Senator O'Brien, the council must now provide assurances that further closures won't occur in the future.
"How often is it going to happen? This is quite embarrassing for the council considering the water crisis that is also going on. Now our motor tax offices are closing. A commitment is needed so that we know this is a once off. Considering that the Minister for Transport [Leo Varadkar] is a Dublin TD, I'm sure he will want to ensure this is a once off."
In a statement, Dublin City Council apologised for the impact the closures will have on the public.
"This closure is to accommodate the significant backlog of non use declarations, motor tax applications and driving licence applications as a result of legislative changes introduced from 30 September," the council said.
"Dublin City Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. Customers can continue to pay motor tax by post or online at www.motortax.ie."