Sinn Féin Councillor Caoimhe McKnight has called on Driver Licencing Agency to explain the reasoning behind the difference in the cost of a Provisional Licence between The North of Ireland and the rest of these islands
Councillor McKnight said:
“A Provisional Licence in Britain online costs £34 and a paper application costs £43; in the rest of Ireland the cost is €35 but here in the North it is £62.50 and cannot be applied for online.
“Applicants here have to pay almost double the cost for a provisional licence compared to anywhere else on these islands.
“It’s common knowledge that disposable income in the North is less than 50% of that in Britain yet as with everything else from energy to food and other necessities our young people and others requiring a Provisional Licence are expected to pay these inflated prices.
“With the level of youth unemployment, it invariably falls on the parents with already overstretched budgets to shoulder this excessive fee.
“In the present economic climate more people have to travel to work and therefore a driving licence is no longer a luxury for most people but a necessity to access many job opportunities.
“Many single parent families in particular may not be able to afford this cost. I am therefore raising this unacceptable situation with the Department of Infrastructure to see how this difference can be justified.”