Fuel prices rise again for first time in four months

Tax accounts for 55% of the retail price of petrol, according to the Automobile Association (AA)

The AA's Conor Faughnan says it is "hard to fathom" why an oil price increase is occurring internationally and that the Irish government needs to tackle high fuel taxes



21 February 2013

Share this post:



The price of petrol and diesel has crept upwards at the pumps for the first time since last September, according to the latest survey of prices from the AA. A litre of petrol now costs motorists an average of 159.4 cent, up 1.5 cent since January. A litre of diesel costs 153.7 cent, up 2.9 cent on the figure for January.

Prices peaked in September at over €1.70 per litre; the most expensive that fuel has ever been in Ireland. Since then prices have been falling gradually, and with the relative strength of the euro against the dollar, Ireland has seen a reduction in pump prices.

"2012 was an appalling year for fuel prices, the worst we have ever had," said AA director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan. "It was the number one issue for motorists last year. This was why we were so strong in our arguments to government not to increase fuel taxes even more in the December budget. We succeeded in persuading them, although they did increase car tax which was frustrating."

The price of oil on world markets has been relatively stable in recent weeks. The price for Brent Crude has crept upwards from just over $110 per barrel at the start of the year to $118 now. Irish consumers did not really feel this initially because the euro rose against the US dollar at the same time.

"Internationally, it is hard to fathom the reasons for a rise right now." added Faughnan.

"Forecasts for oil demand in 2013 are quite weak, mirroring economic data, and we even had a relatively mild winter. For the price of fuel to be rising now is surprising and very disappointing."

The AA points out that the key reason for high prices continues to be high taxes. 55% of the retail price of petrol is tax. Various tax increases since October 2008 have added 23 cent per litre to the retail price of petrol.

For a typical motorist  the AA calculates that this means paying €240 for fuel every month of which €131.50 is tax. In a year a typical Irish motorist will pay nearly €1,600 in tax on fuel.

"We cannot sustain another year like last year," said Faughnan. "The year was one long fuel crisis for consumers as the government stayed deaf to their calls. It did not get worse in the budget but it did not get better either. The government will have to be more responsive this year or they will hurt ordinary motorists and they will hurt the economy."



Share this post:

Back to Top ↑

Shelflife Magazine