Fuel costs and utility bills will rise as cost-of-living measures are unlikely to be extended

The cost of petrol, diesel and electricity bills are expected to rise as Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan warns of an excise tax on the cost of living and VAT cuts are unlikely to be extended.

The government cut excise taxes on gasoline by 21 cents, diesel by 16 cents and marked gasoil by 5.4 cents in April as inflation drives up car costs.

VAT on electricity and gas bills was also reduced from 13.5 percent to 9 percent.

Minister Paschal Donohoe extended tariff and VAT cuts in the budget until February 28.

But Mr Ryan, the leader of the Green Party, said he does not expect the cost-of-living measure to be extended further beyond February.

He said one of the government’s key priorities is to “maintain a reasonable economic approach to this cost of living crisis”.

“With this economic approach, you can’t just rely on corporate tax because that’s not something you can take for granted, so we need excise taxes and ones like that give us a really broad base,” he said.

“We need to look at that and see which ones can or will be reintroduced. I assume some of them have to be because we have to make sure we have the money for welfare, health and other household needs.”

On fuel, Mr Ryan said he had set up a €18m fund for the transport industry, allowing companies to claim between €200 and €1,200 per vehicle depending on the size of their fleet.

“That will happen around March. So if there is a refund of VAT, excise (and) other levies, and I expect this measure will compensate for that,” he said.

Mr Ryan said the government was being helped by the fact that oil and fuel prices had fallen significantly.

“People will almost remember in the last few months, you went to the forecourt and the price was 2.10 euros, 2.15 euros per liter. If I look now it’s €1.60, €1.70 or whatever, so it’s gone down dramatically,” he said.

Newly appointed Treasury Secretary Michael McGrath said his department was conducting an assessment of the impact of the measures on businesses and households.

Mr McGrath said there was “a lot of volatility” in the oil and fuel space at the moment and it was too early to “make a definitive assessment”.

“We are two months away from making those decisions but I have already engaged with officials on the evidence we need to make those decisions and then there will be political discussions in the coming weeks,” he told the Irishman independent.

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar signaled that some of the cost-of-living measures may need to be extended.

“And I think everyone understands that we can’t extend all of these things, but at the same time I think some of them need to be extended because the cost of living is so high.

“We’ll sort that out in the new year,” he said.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/fuel-costs-and-utility-bills-to-rise-as-cost-of-living-measures-unlikely-to-be-extended-42245480.html Fuel costs and utility bills will rise as cost-of-living measures are unlikely to be extended

Fry Electronics Team

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