Motorists are facing a hike in the cost of refuelling their vehicles from midnight tonight, as excise rates are increased by the Government.
Petrol excise rates will increase by 7c per litre while diesel prices will rise by 5c. Agricultural diesel will go up by 1c.
It is the second of three increases in excise, to unwind a reduction brought in March 2022 to combat soaring prices in the wake of the Russian war in Ukraine.
While the excise increases from midnight, price rises at all pumps will not be immediate.
That is because the excise is charged on wholesale supplies of fuel, and it may be days for many forecourts to sell their existing fuel stock, purchased at the lower excise rate.
On the other hand, some forecourts with high turnovers purchase wholesale supplies every day, and in those cases retail prices will increase almost immediately.
Why are petrol and diesel prices going up?
The increases come despite a number of calls on the Government not to go ahead with them or at least postpone them until next year.
Independent TD Mattie McGrath said this increase and the final one due on 31 October should be scrapped.
“We need action now to help struggling Irish families facing an ongoing cost of living crisis,” he says.
“With back to school expenses, groceries getting pricier and mortgage rates going up, families are really struggling. Adding fuel tax hikes to this mix is just plain wrong.”
The Irish Farmers’ Association called for the increases to be suspended indefinitely.
Its Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh said: “I am calling on Minister Michael McGrath to reconsider the timing of this increase in excise duty and announce an indefinite extension immediately.
“At a time of a cost-of-living crisis and stubbornly high inflation, it seems unconscionable the Government would proceed with imposing further taxes on already stretched families.”
Speaking on Tuesday however, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath said tonight’s excise increase is already “locked in” and will be going ahead.
However, he added that the final tranche of excise restoration, due in two months’ time, will be kept under review.
If that increase was to go ahead it would add a further 8c to a litre of petrol, 6c more to a litre of diesel and 3.4c to a litre of agri-diesel also known as Marked Gas Oil (MGO).
The excise rates on fuel were cut by the Government in March last year by 21c per litre of petrol, 16c cent for diesel and 5.4c for MGO.
The intent at the time was for the cut to be temporary and for rates to be restored by the end of August.
However the cuts were extended, initially until February this year and then until June with the first step in restoration happening on 1 June. On that date excise on petrol rose by 6c and diesel 5c.