The looming hike on excise duty should be scrapped by the Government, Aontú has said.
On September 1st, excise duty is due to increase by 7c for petrol and 5c for diesel.
A further increase is pencilled in for October 31st when petrol will increase by a further 8c and diesel by 6c.
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín believes it is the wrong time to increase the tax.
“Six hundred and seventy-one thousand people are in poverty in this country,” he told Newstalk.
“A million people are barely scraping by at the moment and yet what we have is rich ministers, literally, making it more difficult for struggling families and this is not happening by accident.
“This is a deliberate attack, I believe, on drivers and commuters, many of whom don’t have an alternative mode of transport.”
Deputy Tóibín said the Government does not need the extra revenue the rise in excise duty will raise.
“The Government is making more from VAT on energy now than they ever did before,” he said.
“VAT on electricity reached record heights at €380 million and VAT on the likes of petrol and diesel and solid fuel has increased on average 27% just in the last year.
“So, the Government is quids in on the misery of commuters and drivers.”
Last year, the Government slashed fuel duty as part of a series of measures aimed at easing the cost of living crisis.
The increases in excise duty this year will see it return to 2022 levels.
Main image: A woman filling up a car with petrol in August 2011. Picture by: Andrew Michael / Alamy Stock Photo