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The government has been urged by the president of the climate change advisory council to impose a tax on employees who receive free parking in cities.

According to Marie Donnelly, section 18(b) of the 2008 Finance Bill contains a provision that allows free parking to be calculated as an additional benefit. She was speaking to the Oireachtas Transport Committee.

The legislation, according to Ms. Donnelly, is already in place; all that is required is a signature.

She continued by saying that not enough actions have been found to meet Ireland's goal of a 50% reduction in transportation emissions from 2018 levels by 2030.

The aim, according to Ms. Donnelly, the chair of the Climate Advisory Council, is "ambitious" and will call for an immediate and significant change in the Irish transportation system.

"There needs to be some pro rata for the privilege of having free parking," she said.

"Free parking is worth on average €20 per day and that's worth around €5,000 per year.

"We’re not saying 'take the car away from people', but if they are getting €5,000 a year of parking, it’s not an outrageous suggestion to say they should pay a levy and that funding should be used to further invest in alternative options that are available.

"It's already on the [statute] books here in Ireland it was just never implemented," she said.