Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Call to reverse fuel duty increases

AA said the cost of petrol has risen 1.9 per cent to 144.5 cent a litre, with diesel jumping 3.3 cent to 138.5 cent

The incoming government has been urged to reverse excise duty increases in petrol and diesel as pump prices reached another record high.

AA said the cost of petrol has risen 1.9% to 144.5 cent a litre, with diesel jumping 3.3 cent to 138.5 cent, continuing the steady two-year price increase.

Conor Faughnan, director of policy at the AA, said tax increases in December's budget pushed fuel to an all-time record high.

"Two-thirds of the retail price of fuel is tax because of recent tax rises." Mr Faughnan said."From a revenue point of view this has backfired as people are driving less in response.

"The benefit of cross-border fuel purchases, where motorists from Northern Ireland buy their fuel in the south, is also reduced as the gap between Irish and UK tax on fuel narrows.

"The incoming government can address this immediately by removing the excise duty increases from the last budget."

A recent AA survey showed 98.1% of motorists rated rising fuel prices as either 'very important' or 'somewhat important', and 46.8% of drivers said they would cut their mileage this year because of rising fuel prices.

"What was a bad situation continues to get worse," Mr Faughnan said.

"Fuel prices dropped to a modern low two years ago but since then they have risen steadily and continuously."

The AA said it would be pushing the new administration for a reversal in excise duty increases when it takes office.