Motoring: Eddie Cunningham: Petrol, diesel prices up but scrap deal extended to June
MOTORISTS already paying record prices at the pumps have been hit with a 4c-per-litre hike in the cost of petrol and a 2c-per-litre rise in the cost of diesel from midnight last night.
But up to 10,000 car buyers are expected to benefit from the extension of the car scrappage scheme.
The AA last night said the 4c-per-litre increase will push petrol prices to a new high. It means the fuel costs about €1.40 a litre today. Diesel prices at the pumps are now at around €1.32 a litre -- a near record.
The previous high for petrol was in the summer of 2008 when prices peaked at €133.50. The increases will add €72 each year to fuel bills.
The AA said the record was broken "not because of oil prices but because of tax increases".
They claim petrol would cost €1.21 a litre if it wasn't for tax increases over the last two years.
The haulage business was deeply despondent about the effect of the 2c-per-litre hike on diesel.
It may seem a relatively insignificant increase, but Vincent Caulfield, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, told the Irish Independent: "That 2c per litre will add €3,000 a year to the fuel cost of one vehicle. For a small haulier with five vehicles that is an additional €15,000 a year. There is no way many will be able to sustain it."
Needless to say, the motor industry was happy with the extension of the scrappage deal -- revealed exclusively in Monday's Irish Independent.
The deal has given the industry a real shot in the arm over the past 12 months and kept thousands of jobs intact. Indeed, several garages have taken on additional staff and a new recruitment drive for young entrants is under way.
The extended scheme means bangers of 10 years and older that are traded in against new cars with emissions of 140g/km or lower (Bands A and B) will benefit from a VRT reduction of €1,250.
The size of the incentive is relatively modest but has sparked a wave of additional individual scrappage deals from carmakers here.
"We said last year the scheme would save jobs and deliver income for the Exchequer. And it did so. There are 3,200 more working in the industry than this time last year," Society of the Irish Motor Industry chief Alan Nolan said.
He added: "We predicted that, in total, 70,000 new cars would be sold this year. Today, the figure stands at 88,095 and we expect to finish up the year around the 88,500 mark."