‘Change of thinking’ led to decision not to reduce fuel levy that would have saved Ireland’s motorists €20m says Eamon Ryan
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has claimed a Government “change of thinking” resulted in a decision not to proceed with a fuel levy cut for motorists.
promised 1c per litre cut to the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy was not delivered by the Government – but the decision not to implement it only came to light when revealed by the Irish Independent last week.
The decision means motorists as a whole, battling soaring fuel rates at the pump, missed out on a saving €20m on fuel costs.
The fuel industry claimed this was an “oversight” on the part of officials, however, the Minister for Transport rejected this claim.
He said the NORA levy is needed to pay for more sustainable alternatives to petrol and diesel, as well as oil stocks.
“There was a change of government thinking so we cut excise very significantly and also we’ve had to release oil stocks, we need that NORA levy and we need the carbon fund,” he said.
“The Government changed its position by introducing a reduction in the excise levy that was far greater, much more significant, to help the drivers through this difficult time.”
Mr Ryan announced an initial price cut of 2c per litre on motor fuel on November 25, 2021, the same day he published the Renewable Fuels for Transport Policy.
The policy required all fuel suppliers to increase the amount of biofuel – that is liquid fuel produced from renewable sources such as used cooking oil – from 11pc to 13pc, and it came into force on January 1.
Mr Ryan said to mitigate the impact of increased fuel prices “interim measures will be put in place to help with any fuel price impact caused by these changes”.
It was to involve a 1c per litre reduction in the NORA levy and 1c per litre cut in excise
“That funding will be needed to build up our stocks again, we’ve already released and sold stocks, so we need that NORA levy for that.
“We need that NORA levy to pay for the solutions to give us alternatives, not to have to use diesel and petrol,” said Mr Ryan.
He said one of the measures taken by Government in the “interim” was a 20c cut for excise duty for petrol and 15c for diesel.