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Sasko Lazarov
fuel costs

Excise duty cuts on petrol and diesel to remain for now - but it will increase from June

The Cabinet today agreed a range of cost-of-living measures.

LAST UPDATE | 21 Feb 2023

EXCISE DUTY on petrol and diesel is to be increased on a phased basis from June after it was cut last year. 

The Cabinet today agreed a range of cost-of-living measures

Announcing the measures outside Government Buildings this afternoon, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed a phased restoration of the rates of excise on petrol, diesel and marked gas oil will take place in three stages over the coming eight months.

This will see rates restored on 1 June by 6 cent per litre of petrol, 5 cent per litre of diesel and 1 cent per litre of marked gas oil.

On 1 September these rates will increase by a further 7 cent for petrol, 5 cent for diesel, 1 cent for marked gas.

Rates will then be fully restored on 31 October with a final increase of 8 cent for petrol, 6 cent for diesel, and 3 cent for market gas oil. 

The current cuts were due to be scrapped from next week which would have resulted in petrol increasing overnight by 23 cent per litre and diesel by 18 cent per litre.

Concerns were raised about possible fuel shortages if fuel prices were due to jump overnight, therefore a proposal was tabled for a three-stage restoration plan, with a pause of any increase for three months. 

A cut in excise petrol and diesel was first signed off by Cabinet on 9 March last year

The excise duty cut amounted to 20c per litre on petrol, 15c per litre on diesel and 2c on marked gas oil. 

The cut was initially due to last until last August. 

The Automobile Association (AA) warned that the average tank of fuel would increase by €10 at the end of the month if the cuts were scrapped. 

According to a recent AA fuel prices survey, fuel prices remain relatively steady across the country. The average petrol price across the state is €1.65 in February, 2.5% more than in January 2023. Diesel fuel in February has dropped slightly, with the average at €1.68, 1.7% less than in January 2023.

The AA said that latest prices remain stable, despite the introduction of an EU-wide ban on importing Russian oil products, which came into effect on 5 February. 

The AA had called for the increase in excise duty to be staggeded to avoid difficulties at fuel stations. 

Tánaiste Michéal Martin told reporters that inflation appears to have peaked and is now trending downwards. 

However, he warned that “we cannot take that for granted”, adding this may change if energy prices increase again. 

Varadkar said there may be a further electricity credit but any confirmation would be closer to Budget 2024.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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