Tuesday 16 October 2018

High time the Government lowered unfair and excessive taxes on petrol and diesel

The price of petrol and diesel has now hit a three-year high. According to AA Ireland, a litre of petrol costs 141c on average, up from 137.6c per litre last month. Stock image Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
The price of petrol and diesel has now hit a three-year high. According to AA Ireland, a litre of petrol costs 141c on average, up from 137.6c per litre last month. Stock image Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

These are worrying times for car users in this country. The cost of petrol and diesel is rising, public transport options are becoming more difficult by the day due to overcrowded trains and buses, there are fears that the tax on diesel will rise in the next Budget, and insurance costs continue to be high.

The price of petrol and diesel has now hit a three-year high. According to AA Ireland, a litre of petrol costs 141c on average, up from 137.6c per litre last month.

Diesel costs have gone from an average of 127.1c a litre in April to a price of 131c.

These rises mean a litre of petrol is now at its most expensive since August 2015, while diesel sits at its highest rate since July of the same year.

Rising costs of crude oil are being cited as one of the main factors contributing to the latest surge in prices at the pumps.

In the past month, crude oil has increased from a low of approximately $67 per barrel to its current price of over $77.

Higher fuel costs are a major problem for those who rely on their car for their daily commute and for those in isolated areas with limited or no public transport.

According to the AA, an average motorist who drives 12,000 miles a year (19,200 km) at a fuel consumption rate of 30 miles per gallon (9.42 litres per 100 km), will use 150 litres of fuel per month.

Current prices mean this motorist will pay €211.50 a month for petrol. Some €130.71 of this is tax. That means around 60pc of cost of filling up goes to the State in excise duties, VAT and the levy to ensure the State has a 90-day reserve of oil stocks.

A motorist driving a diesel-powered vehicle will spend €196.50 per month, of which €111.61 is tax.

It is high time that the Government looked at the huge amount of tax being siphoned off motorists when they buy fuel.

AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan is right when he says that for many people across the country, their car is their only option when it comes to getting to work, in part due to a woeful history of under-investment in urban and rural public transport.

Instead of coming down there is every possibility that the tax on diesel will go up. This is because the Government is under pressure from the European Union to equalise the excise duty on diesel and petrol.

That is all hard-pressed drivers of diesel cars need.

Rather than higher taxes on diesel, the tax on both petrol and diesel should be lowered. Extracting 60c for every €1 spent on petrol from drivers is unreasonable and unfair.

Sunday Indo Business

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