Vulcan Insight

Irish Government cuts excise on Petrol and Diesel

11 March 2022

Fuel prices across Ireland continue to soar this week in response to the high oil prices caused by inflation and the economic fallout of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With mounting public pressure and calls from the Opposition the Government had to act in some way to ease the burden on consumers. 

On Wednesday night the Dáil voted in favour of a cut in excise on petrol and diesel and the change came into effect overnight. The reduction is 20 cent per litre on petrol, 15 cent per litre on diesel and a cut of 2 cent per litre on green diesel The reduction will be in place until 31 August and will cost €320m

Despite this Government intervention opposition TDs still expressed concern with Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty stating  “Half measures simply doesn’t cut it. You could have done more”.  Transport Minister Eamon Ryan noted in response to this criticism that “The Taoiseach is going to be working with European colleagues to see if we can do more” in reference to a potential change in EU energy taxes to deal with the current crisis this will be discussed as EU leaders meet in Versailles today. 

There have been claims of retailers acting in bad faith with Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd, claiming in the Dáil that “petrol dealers are challenging directly the authority of this Government” by pocketing cuts in excise duty. The Minister of State with Responsibility for Consumer Protection Robert Troy said if consumers have evidence of cartel behaviour or abuse of dominance in the fuel sector, they should contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC). The Taoiseach described any form of price gouging  as “morally reprehensible”

Kevin McPartlan, chief executive of Fuels for Ireland,  responding to the comments stated it was “misleading” to suggest providers had been “engaged in any sort of profiteering”. He went on to say that These times are made even more challenging when misleading comments find their way into the public domain.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney noted the government understood the pressure people are under and pointed to measures already implemented. Speaking on the radio this morning he outlined that The government  “will respond to that as best we can. And that is why there were social welfare increases, there were fuel allowance increases, there was a living alone allowance increase, there was a tax package which was targeting low to middle-income earners.”