Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, says the Government should pay heed to the French example of cutting the tax on fuel.
Today it was announced that France will cut the tax on fuel to ease the burden on motorists.
“With the price of petrol set to hit as much as €1.80 in the coming weeks, it is blindingly obvious that something must be done,” said Deputy Dooley.
“Fianna Fáil has consistently called for action by the Government on this, hard pressed families cannot take any more. The price of fuel is at an all-time high, and there seems to be no end in sight to the petrol hikes.
“If it is good enough for the French Government to introduce temporary measures to halt the spiralling costs by lowering taxes, why can’t our Government do likewise?
“In April, Fianna Fáil published a Bill to immediately cut the price of petrol and diesel by 5 cent a litre. The Government refused to even consider the proposals suggesting that Fianna Fáil was living in ‘economic dreamland’ and the problem would sort itself out. I wonder would they label the French Government with the same barb?
“Petrol prices at that time were just below €1.65 a litre. While the Government has been sitting on its hands, prices are hurtling towards an all-time high of €1.80. How far do prices have to go before the Government wakes up and takes this seriously?
“Hypocritically, in June 2008, Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny raised the issue of fuel prices during Leaders Questions in the Dáil. He said: “I am disappointed that the Taoiseach does not have an initiative with regard to the mix of excise duties and VAT to ensure they are not used as a further battering ram against the hard pressed consumer.” At this point the average price per litre was €1.32.
“Since 2008 most citizens of the state have seen their household income reduce dramatically with increased taxes and wage reductions, there has also been a considerable increase in unemployment. If Enda Kenny thought it was desirable to moderate fuel prices then, what explanation can he now give for the Government’s failure to act?
“The exorbitant cost of fuel is hitting every single household in the country and is discouraging tourists from travelling throughout Ireland. If Fine Gael and Labour put aside party politics, the Government can take a simple step that would immediately reduce the price of petrol at the pumps.”