independent

Friday 18 April 2014

How state takes 91c a litre on fuel

I don't often agree so wholeheartedly with the Automobile Association.

While it does a lot of good work, it is a big business in its own right and we remain mindful of that.

However, the AA has done every one of us a big service this week. It has clearly outlined just how much TAX we are paying on our fuel.

It is, in its own way, one of the greatest stealth taxes of them all because it is unrelenting and unavoidable.

So even though fuel prices are falling, the fact remains that the Government takes a huge chunk of what we pay at the pumps.

The AA puts it succinctly:

• When a motorist pays 161.2c for a litre of petrol, 56.4pc of that is tax.

• That means every month your average Irish car owner will pay €241.80 for fuel. A whopping €136.38 in tax.

I think the figures show that while we complain about our garages charging so much, the real 'hit' is coming from the Government. Again the figures are clear and stark:

• At 161.2c a litre, a garage will make an average of 4c, according to the AA. The wholesaler could make as much as 8c.

• But, wait for it, the Exchequer gets 91c per litre.

So next time you are grumbling about the cost of filling your tank, think about who is hitting you the hardest.

This is against a backdrop of the impending Budget and the certainty of increases in Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) as well as a rise in road tax. People have more or less accepted them.

Yes, the Government has to get the money it needs from somewhere, but does it have to be so disproportionately from the poor old motorist?

The amount of money the Exchequer takes on your litre of fuel is probably the clearest example of the burden on drivers. If you were to add up the VRT, road tax and indirect taxation on motoring as well, you would realise how huge a proportion of your income goes to the Government.

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