The Rural Independent Group has written to Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue demanding “enormous” cuts in energy taxes.

Group leader Mattie Mc Grath criticised that the government continues to take 65% of every litre of petrol and diesel in tax, while people are “forced to decide between buying food, fuel or heat”.

He urged the minister to provide a tax break on petrol and diesel for the remainder of 2022, and eliminating the excise duty, the carbon tax and VAT on both fuels (including agricultural diesel) from June 1 until at least December 31, 2022.

Eliminating all energy taxes until the end of 2022 would give people some overdue relief and shield from inflation, according to the Rural Independent Group.

Speaking from his Tipperary constituency today (Monday, May 30), Deputy Mc Grath said:

“The ongoing energy price inflation is having a profound financial impact on every household, motorist, small business, farmer and transport operator. Thus far, any government intervention has proved meaningless, not even scratching the surface, as prices soar towards €2/L for petrol and diesel.”

He continued that the government’s “ideological energy-policy choices” are the biggest driver of skyrocketing fuel prices, which also mean that Ireland is importing oil and gas rather than relying on its own domestic production.

While the government’s carbon tax was specifically designed to make petrol, diesel and all available energy products progressively expensive, cutting these taxes would see petrol and diesel below 80ct/L, Deputy Mc Grath said.

He added that great elevation in energy prices is the principal driver of Ireland’s consumer inflation, which is higher for all rural residents, lower-income and older households due to home energy, heating and transport, according to data by the Central Bank.

The Rural Independent Group requested the minister to take action and finally address government taxes. Deputy Mc Grath said:

“We implore the minister to make radical change given the ongoing emergency and its drastic impact on the ordinary Irish citizen. It is callous, unjust and cruel for the minister to deliberately avoid taking action.”

“People need financial reprieve now. We feel that this is the very least the government can do for the Irish public, the body of individuals who elected the current leaders as their representatives and voice,” the deputy said.