The Rural Independent Group has written to Finance Minister Paschal Donohue demanding “huge” cuts in energy taxes.
Group leader Mattie Mc Grath criticized the fact that the government continues to collect 65% of every liter of petrol and diesel in taxes, while people are “forced to choose between buying food, fuel or heat”.
He urged the Minister to provide tax relief on petrol and diesel for the remainder of 2022, and remove excise duty, carbon tax and VAT on both fuels (including agricultural diesel ) from June 1 to December 31, 2022 at least.
Eliminating all energy taxes until the end of 2022 would give people relief and protection against inflation, according to the Rural Independent Group.
Speaking from his constituency of Tipperary today (Monday 30 May), MP McGrath said:
“Continued energy price inflation is having a profound financial impact on every household, motorist, small business, farmer and transport operator. So far, any government intervention has proven meaningless, not even scratching the surface, as prices soar towards €2/L for petrol and diesel.
He added that the government’s “ideological energy policy choices” are the main driver behind soaring fuel prices, which also means that Ireland imports oil and gas rather than relying on its own domestic production.
While the government’s carbon tax was specifically designed to make petrol, diesel and all available energy products progressively expensive, reducing these taxes would drive petrol and diesel below 80ct/L, a said MP McGrath.
He added that the sharp rise in energy prices is the main driver of consumer inflation in Ireland, which is higher for all rural residents, lower income households and older households due to household energy, heating and transportation, according to Central Bank data.
The Rural Independent Group has called on the minister to take action and finally tackle government taxes. Deputy McGrath said:
“We implore the Minister to effect a step change given the current emergency and its drastic impact on the ordinary Irish citizen. It is callous, unfair and cruel of the Minister to deliberately avoid action.
“People need a financial reprieve now. We believe this is the least the Government can do for the Irish public, the body of individuals who have elected the current leaders as their representatives and their voice,” the MP said.