Fuel excise increase will go ahead as planned next month - Donohoe

“The fuel excise change that's planned for August should go ahead and it will go ahead."
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.41 10 Jul 2024

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Fuel excise increase will go a...

Fuel excise increase will go ahead as planned next month - Donohoe

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

10.41 10 Jul 2024

Share this article

Next month’s increase in fuel tax will go ahead as planned despite complaints from drivers and retailers, the Minister for Public Expenditure has said.

This morning, Fuels For Ireland (FFI) urged the Government to postpone the planned increase to support “hard-pressed” customers and businesses.

The group said the price of fuel on the international market is currently so high that the Exchequer is already taking in more money in excise than it ever has before.


It said Government must ensure it does not “leave people behind” while it is trying to generate funds for the transition to greener energy.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe rejected the call.

“The excise change that's planned for August should go ahead and it will go ahead,” he said.

“The reason for that is, while I fully expect and appreciate it will have an impact on those who are paying for fuel - I do appreciate that - we brought all of these changes in when inflation was above 10%, it's now around 2%.

“We would simply be spending money in the wrong way and in the wrong areas if we didn’t go ahead with the changes we've committed to.”

Inheritance Tax

Minister Donohoe was also asked what will happen with inheritance tax amid reports Government is considering a major increase in the tax-free threshold for inheritance.

Currently, a person may inherit up to €335,000 from a parent or, in certain circumstances, a grandparent tax-free, with any amount above that threshold taxed at 33%.

Fine Gael committed to increasing that threshold to €500,000 nearly a decade ago – and reports in recent weeks suggest both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are calling for it to be raised to €700,000.

Minister Donohoe refused to speculate on the reports.

“That would be a Budget Day decision,” he said.

“It's very much a matter for the Minister for Finance and decisions like that can never be revealed before Budget Day.”

Aer Lingus

Minister Donohoe also urged the Aer Lingus pilots to postpone their indefinite work to rule while they consider the recommendations of Labour Court.

“I believe that every effort should be taken to minimise the harm that has already been done for the ability of people to go on holiday, go and work, travel and the damage that has been done to tourism in Ireland,” he said.

“I would always call for when a strike is taking place or industrial action is taking place, for that to be paused and deferred while people are considering a recommendation from the Labour Court.

“The one point I would make is, having engaged with the Labour Court many times myself over the last ten years, is that the Labour Court recommendation is the last show in town from an industrial relations perspective.

“Any process that ever follows from that, it's never any different or better than what the Labour Court do, because it can't be – any other process undermines the work of the Labour Court and we can't let that happen.”

Last man standing

Minister Donohoe also said he does not feel like the “last man standing” after Simon Coveney announced his retirement from politics, with Leo Varadkar rumoured to be due to follow.

“With my colleagues and friends Simon and Leo, I mean, they've been at this for a long time and I think in any walk of life, you reach the point where you think you've done your best and you want to do something different,” he said.

He said he will not be following Deputy Coveney out of politics.

“My name is going to be going forward to the selection convention for Fine Gael in Dublin Central next week,” he said.

“I'm going to contest the next election as I have always said.

“I feel far from feeling like the last man standing at the moment. If I look around to work that, in particular, our new Taoiseach in Simon is doing, I feel very positive about where things stand in Fine Gael and ready for what the future can bring.”

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