THE GOVERNMENT has announced a temporary reduction in the excise duties charged on petrol, diesel and marked gas oil amid concerns about the rising cost of fuel.
An incorporeal Cabinet meeting was held this morning where the government gave approval to the proposal.
Excise duty will reduce by 20 cent per lite of petrol and 15 cent per litre of diesel, with a reduction of 2 cent in the excise duty charged on marked gas oil.
The reduction will take effect from midnight tonight and remain in place until 31 august 2022, and will cost €320 million.
Drivers in Ireland have seen the cost of fuel rise in recent weeks, which has been exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Speaking following the announcement, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the increase in fuel comes on top of the increases in gas and electricity prices that many are facing.
"These temporary reductions in excise are expected to reduce the cost of a fill of a 60 litre tank by €12 for petrol and €9 for diesel," he said.
"Excise duty is an important Revenue stream for the Government, and collected over €5.8billion last year, with over €2bn of that coming from fuel taxes. The measure announced today will reduce this by €320million."
He said the government was acting in response to the rise seen to date, but also in anticipation of the further price rises expected over the short and medium term.
Donohoe also said the price changes are not within the control of government.
"The Government has limited resources, and has responded to help to ease the impact of these price increases, but we cannot cushion citizens and businesses from the entire impact."
A financial resolution will be presented to the Dáil this evening and the excise duty reductions will be effective from midnight tonight.
Sinn Féin had called on the government to cut excise duty by 25 cents per litre overnight, and for excise duty to be removed entirely from home heating oil.
Spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD said "the government can and must act to reduce prices at the pump."
"Removing excise duty from home heating oil would save a household nearly €100 for 1,000 litres of home heating oil. The government could introduce these measures and slash prices tonight through a Financial Resolution. That is precisely what we are calling for them to do. This is not a time for dithering or delay – it is a time for action."
However, speaking in the Dáil today Taoiseach Michel Martin said the government can't bring diesel prices down by 25 cent because of the EU Energy Directive. He also explained the government was working with other EU countries to see if a further cut was possible on diesel.
Ministers were also told today they should expect threats across food supply, energy prices and to businesses as a result of the war.
Food prices and warnings over consumer prices with processing dependent on gas supplies were outlined
The Cabinet was told that if there are shortages or rationing of key materials, there would be “significant and immediate” implications for domestic food supply and farm incomes.
Ministers were also warned that economic growth could be disrupted due to higher prices and costs which will intern threaten jobs and the exchequer.