Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

IFA against rise in diesel rates to fight laundering

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The IFA has rejected calls for the equalisation of excise rates on diesel as a means of tackling illegal fuel laundering.

The farmer body claimed that such a move could cost farmers in the region of €80m. IFA president John Bryan pointed out that farmers spend approximately €160m on agricultural diesel annually. In addition, farmers spend €280m per year on contracting costs. It has been estimated that up to 25pc of this is due to fuel costs.

"Equalisation of rates would have a negative impact on cash flow, putting pressure on the viability of small businesses, particularly given the restricted access to working capital from the banks," Mr Bryan said.

"In Britain and Northern Ireland, a system similar to ours operates, with a reduced excise system for Marked Gas Oil. Changing the regime in the Republic won't have any major impact if the UK authorities retain theirs," he added.

The IFA claimed the move would also impose significant additional paperwork and compliance costs on farmers, and the proposal did not take into account the costs of policing and administering a rebate system.

An IFA delegation, which included Elaine Farrell, Pat Smith, Tom Doyle and John Bryan, made a presentation on the issue to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport last week.

Declan O'Brien

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