No re­lief from ris­ing fuel prices

Bray People - - MOTORS -

THE AA monthly in­dex of fuel prices shows there has been no re­lief from ris­ing prices. The av­er­age price of petrol across the coun­try rose by 1.9 cent to 144.5 cents per litre, push­ing the all time record re­tail price even higher. Diesel was even worse, ris­ing 3.3 cent this month to its new record high at 138.5 cent.

‘What was a bad sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to get worse,’ says Di­rec­tor of Pol­icy Conor Faugh­nan.

‘Fuel prices dropped to a mod­ern low 2 years ago but since then they have risen steadily and con­tin­u­ously.’

‘Ir­ish tax in­creases have been added as well, and the most re­cent 4 cent per litre in­crease in last De­cem­ber's bud­get pushed fuel to an all time record high. That record was bro­ken in Jan­uary and now again in Fe­bru­ary.’

The price of fuel is a ma­jor concern to Ir­ish mo­torists. 98.1% of driv­ers rated ris­ing fuel prices as ei­ther 'very im­por­tant' or 'some­what im­por­tant' in the AA's most re­cent Mo­torists Panel sur­vey.

That same sur­vey showed that 46.8% of driv­ers will re­duce the amount of kilo­me­tres they drive this year be­cause of ris­ing fuel prices.

‘Two thirds of the re­tail price of fuel is tax, be­cause of re­cent tax rises.’

‘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.’

Faugh­nan said the in­com­ing gov­ern­ment can ad­dress this im­me­di­ately by re­mov­ing the ex­cise duty in­creases from the last bud­get. The AA will be mak­ing this call on the new ad­min­is­tra­tion when it takes of­fice.

In the mean­time, the AA con­tin­ues to en­cour­age its mem­bers to shop around. Even as we are at the mercy of tax and oil prices, the lo­cal price per litre still varies con­sid­er­ably. Mo­torists need to keep their eyes open to take ad­van­tage of this.

The AA is ask­ing its Mem­bers and all mo­torists to share their con­cerns about prices and re­port any is­sues they come across via its web­site blog sec­tion, http://blog.aaire­

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