– Diesel levy increases must not be a snatch and grab by the Exchequer –

The Minister for Climate Change and Natural Resources, Denis Naughten TD must clarify whether he supports his Government colleague’s proposal to increase the levy on diesel fuel, according to Fianna Fáil Climate Change Spokesperson, Timmy Dooley TD.

“Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Shane Ross, the Minister for Transport, and his officials, are considering equalising the levies on petrol and diesel on the basis that that there is evidence that diesel use may be more harmful for the environment.

“However, there has been no public discussion about a corresponding cut in the taxes levied on petrol, which begs the question the Government doing this as a revenue-raising activity, or as a way of promoting a move from diesel to petrol?” asked the Fianna Fáil TD.

“If it’s the latter, Minister Naughten must ensure that the Government, as part of Budget 2017, reduces the levies on petrol.”

“Minister Naughten is the minister with responsibility for climate change. He must be the one making the decision on this issue, and not allow his cabinet colleagues dictate policy in his department,” added Deputy Dooley.

“The Minister should be well aware, coming from a rural constituency, that people living in rural communities travel further to access services and consume more fuel as a result. They have invested by switching from petrol to diesel cars over the past 10 years.”

“Fianna Fáil supports measures that will help reduce our environmental footprint but the Government cannot be allowed get away with double-charging, and hope that commuters don’t notice.”

“It’s clear that this entire policy area requires a holistic approach and not a smatch and grab by the Exchequer,” concluded Dooley.