THE Government has been accused of being to blame for Ireland's exorbitant fuel prices – rather than oil market volatility.
Motoring group AA Ireland said that since the start of the fiscal crisis in the middle of 2008, there have been five separate tax increases on both petrol and diesel. Between them they have added around 23c a litre to the price of both fuels.
Taxes now account for 57pc of the retail price of petrol and 51pc for diesel.
Calling on the Government to act on fuel prices in next month's Budget, AA Ireland director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said the high cost of filling the tank continues to be a major problem.
"There is simply too much tax on petrol and diesel," he said.
"The main problem that we have is not market volatility, it is the Irish Government."
He said high fuel costs were an anti-stimulus measure. For motorists, they add to the cost of living and reduce disposable income, while for businesses, high diesel prices push up their operating costs.