FCI concerned over diesel price-hike speculation

Recent speculation that Budget 2019 will see a carbon tax increase, as well as a rise in the excise duty paid for diesel, has been met with strong concerns from an agricultural contractors’ lobby group.

“An increase in carbon tax is certainly not helpful given the fact that diesel has soared in price in the last 12 months,” according to the CEO of the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), Micheal Moroney.

He outlined that the FCI sent a submission to the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, that stated if there was to be an increase in carbon tax, agricultural contractors should be entitled to a Marked Gas Diesel Oil Rebate Scheme.

He also remarked that the effect of a hike in fuel prices is “quite obvious“.

“If there is an increase in diesel prices, then it will have an adverse effect on the profitability and sustainability of farm contractors.

If diesel goes up in price, then contractors will be left with no choice but to pass the cost on to the customer.

“It’s not unusual for contractors to be burning €100,000 worth of fuel a year and any price increase has a huge effect on profitability.

“On June 1, 2018, diesel had increased by 36% on that time last year; it is now in excess of 80c/L, depending on where you’re buying it,” Moroney concluded.

Minister Donohoe will present Budget 2019 to Dail Eireann next Tuesday, October 9.