The cost of fuel has reached its highest level since late 2015 according to the latest AA Fuel Price Index, as the average price of a litre of petrol rose by 4.9c and diesel by 5c within the last month.
The AA’s analysis shows that the average price of a litre of petrol now sits at 136.3c per litre with a litre of diesel costing an average of 126.9c.
The latest figures represent the latest in a series of fuel price increases for motorists, with the price of a litre of petrol now at its highest since September 2015. Meanwhile, the price of diesel has climbed to its highest level since August 2015, as prices of petrol and diesel rose for the fourth successive month.
“While motorists were perhaps bracing themselves for an increase in fuel costs early in 2017 as oil prices have steadily risen in recent months, the latest price rise represents the largest single month increase in prices since March 2015,” Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at AA Ireland highlighted.
“While it’s impossible to know what the long-term future holds when it comes to fuel prices, currently all the factors which inform prices are trending into the wrong direction for motorists.”
The latest escalation in petrol and diesel prices further highlight the need for fuel taxes introduced in response to the economic recession to be reviewed by Government.
“We have little no influence over the international events that affect fuel prices. But we do control Irish taxation and that is actually where the real damage is done. 63% of the price of petrol is tax, and 58% for diesel. That’s excessive. It has been excessive since the emergency budget of October 2008 and despite the end of the crisis period the taxes remain. As motorists contemplate empty wallets at the end of the month we should remember that it is the Irish government much more than global oil prices that sees us paying so much.”
Faughnan added. “Throughout 2016 we saw an increase in traffic on Irish roads, which is normally a good indicator for an increase in the number of people working on a regular basis. Continuing to tax what is a necessity for people trying to get to work, particularly for those in rural areas, at such high levels represents an anti-stimulus measure which disproportionately impacts those without viable alternative travel options.”
Over 85c of the per litre petrol price is made up of taxes, with tax accounting for 73c of diesel pump prices. However, approximately 20c and 18c of the taxes on petrol and diesel respectively consists of five separate tax increases introduced between 2008 and 2012 as an emergency measure.
Despite improvements in the Irish economy and the emergency era coming to an end, taxes which were once deemed a short-term measure have lived on. The AA warned that this in turn has a negative impact on people’s ability to take up employment, particularly in the case of those living in isolated areas.
* AA Fuel Usage figures: If a car does 12,000 miles per year (19,200 km) at a fuel consumption rate of 30 miles per gallon (9.42 litres per 100 km) that car will use 150 litres of fuel per month. At current prices that motorist will pay this €205.45 month for petrol of which €129.38 is tax.
For diesel, a similar car will pay €190.35 per month of which €110.44 is tax.