Reduction of fuel tax would benefit households and businesses

Fine Gael TD for Dublin North, Alan Farrell, has today (Tuesday) called for excise duty to be reduced in an effort to ease pressure on households and businesses across Ireland. Deputy Farrell’s comments were made in reaction to recent Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures on inflation which indicate a rise in transport costs and a 2.2% drop in inflation.

“While I welcome a drop in inflation, we must look at the figures more closely to decipher what this means for households, businesses, and our overall competitiveness.

“Petrol and diesel costs have risen by 1.2% this year. This, in addition to a recent rise in public transport fares due to the cost of fuel, has a direct impact on household budgets and business overheads. According to AA Ireland, the average motorist will require 150 litres of petrol per month, which, at a rate of €1.59 per litre, is a cost of €240 per individual. Over 57% of this cost is Government taxation, and we cannot ignore the impact that this is having on individual spending, the price of goods and the cost of doing business in this country.

“I urge the Government to develop a strategy to reduce the cost of fuel. While I acknowledge the international influences that have forced an increase in the price of fuel on a worldwide scale, the domestic price of fuel has reached an unsustainable level. This requires the Government to address its current taxation rate of just over 57% on fuel.

“Although I do not underestimate the value of all income to the Exchequer at this crucial time, I believe that there is merit in a measured or temporary reduction on the Government fuel charge, to examine the cost to the Exchequer in tandem with the benefits to households, businesses, and ultimately, the economy.

“We need to continuously find ways to encourage household spending and reduce our national rate of inflation, to increase competitiveness for businesses and exports by creating a low cost environment in which to do so.”