Belfast Telegraph

Fuel price hikes to send drivers to Northern Ireland

Fuel prices in the Republic will exceed those in Northern Ireland after tomorrow's Irish budget hikes, driving motorists up North to fill up, an Irish retail lobby group claimed yesterday.

The planned increase in the carbon tax and VAT on fuel would add 5.5 cent to a litre of fuel.

But proposed fuel tax hikes in the UK were put off last week because of the worsening economic situation there, said Retail Ireland Chairman Frank Gleeson.

“In light of the deteriorating economic situation in Britain, George Osborne announced last Tuesday that he was cancelling the planned 3p fuel duty increase due in January, while the UK’s 5p rise planned for August 2012 has been reduced to a 3p per litre increase,” said Retail Ireland chairman Frank Gleeson.

“In the Republic, we are facing a 5.5c per litre increase when higher carbon taxes and a 2% VAT rise come into effect. This will leave motor fuel costs south of the border higher than those in the north. This could lead to a 30% fall in trade in towns south of the border, resulting in a loss of revenue to the State in excess of €110 million.”

“Thousands of jobs have already been lost in the retail sector and this will only make things more difficult for businesses already struggling to survive. The run up to the busy Christmas trading period is the worst possible time of year to make these announcements.”

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