A TD has called on the government to reduce excise duty on motor fuel to offset the “significant burden” of rising costs for motorists at the pumps.

Michael Fitzmaurice said that following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday (February 24) the average price of a barrel of oil has climbed to $105, which he explained would have “serious knock-on effects for motorists here”.

The independent TD said that taxes currently account for at least half of the retail price of diesel or petrol in Ireland.

He cited data from the AA which stated that the price of petrol at the pump was 177.3c/L. However, the motoring association said the price was 79.375c/L before taxes were added.

“Excise equated to almost 63c and VAT 33c. This was calculated when the average price of a barrel of oil was $95,” the Roscommon-Galway representative stated.

Fuel taxes

Fitzmaurice explained that the conflict in Ukraine will only “deepen the financial struggles” faced by Irish people.

“Therefore, it is up to the government to ease the burden where possible. The cost of fuel at the pumps can be softened by reducing its taxation and giving ordinary motorists a reprieve.

“Even marked gas oil, or green diesel, is headed north of a euro a litre. The agriculture sector, from farmers to agricultural contractors, will struggle to keep machines on the road to do essential work if this upward trajectory continues,” he stated.

Fitzmaurice said the increase in fuel costs came on top of fertiliser and feed price hikes.

“This is indeed difficult times, and the Government needs to be proactive in ensuring ordinary people are not pushed beyond the brink,” he concluded.