An Independent TD is urging the Government to lift all excise and taxes on fuel to prevent forecourt prices hitting €3.50 a litre.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Wexford TD Verona Murphy said petrol and diesel prices could go as high as €3.50 within weeks.
Overnight in Ireland, a reduction in the excise on fuel came into place - lowering the cost of diesel and petrol by 15c and 20c a litre respectively.
However, there are reports many petrol stations put up prices before the change came into effect at midnight – effectively swallowing up the reduction before it came into force.
A number of TDs have written to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission this morning asking them to investigate.
On The Pat Kenny Show, Independent TD and former head of the Irish Road Haulage Association Verona Murphy said taxes and charges should be completely removed from fuel, while the crisis continues.
“What I have called on the Government to do is to abolish, as a temporary, emergency measure, all excise duties, all taxes and all VAT,” she said.
“That would, in effect, bring the price of fuel on the forecourt today - be it petrol or diesel, which there is very little difference at the moment - to around the €1 or €1.05 mark.”
She said her plan would “actually kill two birds with one stone”.
“You would curb inflation and you would give us a buffer against what experts say the price of barrel of oil will rise to – which is in the region of about €200 a barrel,” she said.
“That would mean that, without excise, we would be looking at a forecourt price of about €1.50 if we hit the $200 a barrel mark – €1.50 a litre.
“If we don’t take this measure - and Government hasn’t taken any steps to ameliorate that - we will see the price of fuel in the forecourt in the coming weeks ahead - and we are not sure exactly when - rising to about €3.50 per litre.”
The move would cost the Exchequer huge amounts of income, while also undermining efforts to respond the climate crisis; however, Deputy Murphy said failing to act could cost the State even more in the long run.
“The focus is in the wrong place here and that is where Government don’t seem to be able to join the dots,” she said. “The question I am asking is, what is the cost of not doing this?”
“I have people ringing me every day in my constituency telling me they just can’t afford to go to work. We have carers who love their job, but they just can no longer afford to do it.”
She said rural people are being hit harder than urban dwellers – and warned that the State could face costs in the billions if public sector workers decide to strike over fuel prices.
On Newstalk Breakfast earlier, Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard called for Carbon tax to be suspended for the duration of the war – just days after the IPCC warned that any further delay to global climate action will “miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future”.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister Norma Foley told the show, Irish schools will be able to cope with the tens of thousands of new Ukrainian students they will be welcoming in the coming weeks.
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin is today travelling to an informal summit of EU leaders in Versailles to discuss the war in Ukraine.