The Government is facing calls to avoid imposing higher rates of excise duty on petrol and diesel as planned from next Thursday.
As part of the Coalition’s measures to tackle the rising cost of living, excise duty on fuel was reduced in March 2022 aiming to bring down the cost at the pumps for consumers after the outbreak of war in Ukraine brought sharp price increases.
However, that measure is set to lapse on June 1st, when the first increments to return the duty to its normal rate will take effect.
Thursday’s increase will add 5c per litre to the cost of diesel, and 6c per litre for petrol.
However, the Consumers Association of Ireland said the move will have both a direct and knock-on effect on consumers, making transport and goods more expensive.
“If this fuel is being used for carrying product to the supermarket, then they only one who can pay for it is the consumer,” the group’s chairperson Michael Kilcoyne said.
“And the consumer is going to have their goods increase (in price) so whoever is transporting it can cover the costs. It means there will be further inflation as a result of this,” he told Newstalk.
Mr Kilcoyne added it is poor practice to increase costs for consumers “at a time when Government talks about the amount of revenue they have”.
“I would call on [the Government] to defer this to at least the end of the year.
“Six cents on a litre of petrol, five cents on a litre of diesel is a lot of money, because in country areas there is no public transport, they have to have a car,” he added.