Thursday, 10 January 2013



Heffernan Tyres have been aware for some time of an ''imbalance'' in the system where legitimate tyre businesses and Government agencies are concerned. We've written about it here on a number of occasions. We see it in the approach to the sale of second hand tyres, illegal dumping and VAT fraud to name but a few areas.
We have also on a number of occasions in the past year , interviewed men for positions as Breakdown drivers for our business who had tried to start their own businesses. Some had failed or were struggling to make it work. On closer inspection, we found that a number of these men had been given financial assistance from The Department Of Social Protection to start up Truck Mobile service businesses. Sounds reasonable enough until you look at a number of factors. These men had,
  • No insurance for the dangerous type of work they were doing.
  • No Public Liability Insurance.
  • Insufficient equipment to do their job safely.
  • None of the overheads that a business such as ours has.
Yet the Department in it's wisdom sees fit to put these men into opposition against us in order to massage the unemployment register numbers. There is no doubt that some of these operators have taken work off businesses such as ours before going bang. Then there's the lost VAT, tax, PRSI,etc. But wait, it gets sillier!

An article appeared in the Irish Tyre Trade Journal last week reporting ,

''that the Department of Social Protection is purchasing workshop equipment (workshops lifts, compressors, tyre changers, wheel balancers etc.), for social welfare recipients  to help set them up in business in direct competition to existing businesses in the sector.

A number of reputable workshop equipment suppliers that do not wish to be named have confirmed to that they have been paid by the Department of Social Protection for equipment that was purchased on behalf social welfare recipients.
It has also been alleged though not confirmed, that some of the equipment which has been purchased with government funds, has been shipped overseas.''

The Representative body for the Irish Tyre Industry, ITIA, has responded with concern and will hopefully be verifying the details with a view to action in the coming weeks.

We are all in favour of job creation. But job creation means creation of sustainable jobs not quick fixes that jeopardises legitimate business. Our business makes significant tax contributions to the government. The least we expect in return is a level playing field. We are not getting it.


  1. Before doing what I currently do I was in an industry in which this happened and is still happening, where legitimate people were forced out by the 1000s from 2007 up to today and the Department of Social Protection still provides funding to make it a very one sided affair. With my former industry now flooded it seems they are now moving to other industries whereby skills levels and standards will drop dramatically as a result.

    "Its alleged some of the equipment which has been purchased with government funds, has been shipped overseas"

    Would that country begin with N and end in A

  2. I'm not sure TBH. The original article is dotted with several references to ''non nationals'' which I deliberately omitted. Not because I believe it's acceptable that our country is being defrauded in this manner, but because I felt those references would ultimately be unhelpful in pursuing a solution.