The leader of the Rural Independent Group of TDs has called on the government to reverse the recent increase in fuel excise duty as “motorists are under siege”.

Deputy Mattie McGrath said that the government had placed “relentless pressure” on motorists, transport operators and farmers.

He said that the reinstatement of duties and hikes in carbon tax mean that the government is now collecting over 50% of the cost of a litre of petrol at the pumps in taxes.


As part of Budget 2024 the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, outlined that temporary excise rate reductions – which had been introduced in 2022 in response to higher fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine – would end on March, 31, 2024.

This meant that from April 1, 2024 there will be an increase of 4c/L on petrol, 3c/L on diesel, and 1.5c/L on marked gas oil (green diesel).

A further increase of 4c/L on petrol, 3c on diesel, and 1.5c on marked gas oil is planned for August.

The AA Ireland April fuel price survey reported a surge in petrol and diesel prices over the last few weeks, after a decrease the previous month. On average, petrol prices have now risen to €1.81/L and diesel is at €1.78/L.

Deputy McGrath stated that the escalating fuel prices are having “a catastrophic impact on all road users, particularly rural motorists who rely on their vehicles for daily commuting”.

electric vehicles McGrath Climate energy carbon tax inflation The Rural Independent Group has introduced their Planning and Development Bill 2022 in the Dáil today
Deputy Mattie McGrath

“Government-induced taxes constitute over half of the cost of a litre of petrol, and the effect on ordinary citizens across the country is devastating.

“Burdened by other rising costs, people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, as every step forward seems to be countered by another government tax or an increase in existing ones,” he said.

Excise duty

The Tipperary TD added that the cumulative impact of the duty restoration is expected to add more than €200 to the annual fuel cost for the average Irish motorist, leaving the cost of fuel about 40 cents higher per litre than it was in the summer of 2020.

“Once the full rate of excise is restored in August, the exchequer will benefit by more than €700 million over 12 months, bringing the annual fuel tax collection to almost €4 billion.

“The coalition will also increase the carbon tax again in October which will drive up everything from food to fuel,” he said.

Deputy McGrath called on the government to “take decisive action”.

“They need to postpone the August rise in excise duty and reverse all the other increases.

“It is incomprehensible why any government would continuously make life so difficult for its citizens,” he said.

Deputy McGrath added that from January 2021 to March 2024, the average cost of living rose by 19.6% and wage growth has not kept pace with this.