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20th Apr 2024

Fears growing that petrol and diesel prices are set for massive hike

Stephen Porzio

The Government have been accused of making it ‘difficult for people to live’ and have been urged to delay a scheduled fuel cost increase.

Fears are growing that petrol and diesel prices will soon rise in Ireland to €2 a litre.

This week, AA Ireland published its April fuel price survey which revealed that the cost of petrol and diesel prices has increased to the highest levels seen yet in 2024.

According to the automotive service company, there has been a “surge” in petrol and diesel prices over the last few weeks after a decrease was reported in March.

AA state that since January 2024, the price of petrol has risen by 13c and the price of diesel has risen by 9c.

Petrol now reportedly costs €1.81 per litre, while diesel costs €1.78 per litre.

Back in March 2022, the Government reduced excise duty on motor fuels in a bid to curb surging prices. This inflation was linked to the war in Ukraine.

The coalition has since begun the lifting of these cuts. Set to happen in two equal instalments, the first already occurred on 1 April 2024, with the second and final rise set to take effect on 1 August – after which time excise duty levels will be restored.

In a statement, the AA’s Jennifer Kilduff said: “Unfortunately and as expected, the decrease we saw in March – underpinned by the border counties reducing their prices – was short-lived.

“The first re-instatement of excise duty which came into effect on 1 April has now been reflected in pump prices reported across most of the country in April.

“Excise is a duty that is added to the sale of mineral oils, cigarettes and alcohol. It is a fixed amount which is charged per litre and does not change as the price fluctuates, retailers have no choice but to add this on at the pump as it is a legal requirement.

“The government will fully restore the excise duty rates on the 1st of August with a final increase of 4c on petrol and 3c on diesel. A carbon tax is also expected in October so we expect prices at the pump to increase further later in the year as a result”.

These developments have led to bookmaker BoyleSports offering odds of 2/5 that petrol prices will break the €2 per litre mark this year.

A spokesperson said: “Punters are filling up with trepidation in recent weeks and it could get even worse at the pumps as the odds on fuel prices hitting €2 are really motoring in the wrong direction.”

As reported by multiple outlets, the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) chairman Michael Kilcoyne has urged the Government to postpone its planned rise on excise duty in August, as well as to reverse its April increase.

“The Government needs to get a grip here… They don’t have to make it so difficult for people to live. People are sucked dry from the cost of everything rising at the moment,” he reportedly said.

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