Cost of living | 

Excise duty on petrol to be cut by 20c and on diesel by 15c to ease burden of rising costs

The Cabinet will meet remotely tomorrow to sign off on the plan which has been developed by the Department of Finance

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Philip Ryan and Senan Molony

The Government will cut 20c off excise duty on petrol and 15c off diesel as part of plan to ease the financial burden of the fuel crisis on motorists.

The Cabinet will meet remotely tomorrow to sign off on the plan which has been developed by the Department of Finance.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe briefed the Government leaders this evening on plans to reduce excise duty on fuel.

Department of finance officials are this evening working on details of the memo, which will be brought to Cabinet ministers tomorrow morning.

Details of the measures will be unveiled at a press conference tomorrow with Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, at 11am.

The cost of petrol and diesel has risen sharply in recent months but has sky-rocketed significantly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A number of filling stations pushed prices at the pumps over €2 a litre over the weekend.

Households are already struggling to deal with the cost-of-living crisis that has seen inflation at a 20-year high.

The cost of petrol alone at the pumps has gone up by 70 cent a litre since January of last year, the Dáil heard earlier today.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin warned that the war in Ukraine was going to increase further the cost of fuels.

The Government is acutely conscious of this issue. “We don’t argue that it is sustainable,” he said, noting the impact also on inflation, including on food because of Ukraine’s massive exports of grain to the West.

An EU toolbox was emerging on inflation, but the Government was also giving the matter “active consideration,” he said, before adding: “I don’t want to get into specifics right now.”

Sinn Féin said a cut in excise duty could reduce the price at the pumps by 25c a litre and should be done immediately.

Excise duty should also be taken off home heating oil, with a half-tank now costing households €700, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dáil.

“And we're now at a point where many people can no longer afford to put fuel in their car to get to work. This is particularly difficult for people who live in remote and rural areas where they do not have access to frequent public transport.”

In that same timeframe, since January 2021, the price of home heating oil has doubled, she said.

Ms McDonald said she knew of many people who were “layering up with clothes”, or heating one room in their home, or choosing not to heat their homes at all, she said. “Some people are staying in bed to stay warm, particularly seniors.” Fuel hikes were not sustainable for any worker, family or small business, she said.

Meanwhile a Fianna Fáil TD earlier today called for cap on diesel and petrol prices to be introduced for three months.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson for transport, James O’Connor, called on the Department of Finance to urgently introduce the measure in the wake of the fuel crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine.

Mr O’Connor also accused major fuel suppliers of exploiting an international crisis for financial gain.

“The sharp rises in fuel prices are not in line with increasing oil prices. When oil hit $145 per barrel in 2008, prices at the fuel forecourt were significantly less than the current average market price of diesel and petrol in Ireland,” he said.

“Price certainty is required to calm price increases and should be considered on a temporary basis. The knock-on impact of rapid increases is already having an adverse impact on fuel supplies to haulage firms.

“I welcome that government is considering a number of measures in relation to the fuel situation and encourage price caps to be apart of the dialogue,” he added.

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