LIMERICK City and County Council will no longer issue motor tax discs to callers at its offices in Merchant’s Quay.
Instead, they will have to wait up to four days for them to arrive in the post.
The move has been criticised as being a “step too far” by a local councillor, while the Impact trade union says this is one of the reasons they are balloting members on industrial action.
The council has insisted that people can still call into City Hall and register online, and the tax disc will then be sent in the post.
A council spokesperson said that in the near future – at a date yet to be determined - if you need to get a motor tax disc immediately, you will need to visit County Hall in Dooradoyle, or Newcastle West. Impact assistant general secretary Andy Pike said union members in the council are against the move to stop issuing discs in the city centre.
And he hopes by taking industrial action, it will hold it up.
Around 500 council staff members are to be balloted this week on a wide range of industrial action including a work-to-rule, and non co-operation with reforms at the newly merged council.
Mr Pike said: “It will be the end of the facility where you walk in with your documents and walk out with a tax disc. It is something we are not in favour of.”
If staff decide to take action, he added: “It would mean the change in motor tax provision would be blocked, as will any other changes they want to bring in. Services to the public will continue as normal, but it will prevent the drift into one part of the organisation not knowing what the other is doing. It will prevent further change”.
A council spokesperson said when the change happens “members of the public who do not have access to the internet or don’t have a credit card can avail of the online motor tax facility at Merchant’s Quay.”
It is likely this will see council staff who would issue have issued discs in the past, merely registering applicants, with documentation received in the post “within four days”.
Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon, a member of the transport committee, said: “It will be rather inconvenient for a lot of people. Every time I pass this office, it is busy. I think this move is a step too far”.
The council spokesperson said the majority of people now do their motor tax business online.
“Currently, the back office support for the motor tax service is provided from two locations, Merchant’s Quay and Lissanalta House. This, in future, will be consolidated into one location in the Dooradoyle council offices,” the spokesperson added.