Rise in tax on diesel would burden businesses, TDs say

TDs urge Government caution in relation to possible increase in excise duty on diesel fuel

Fine Gael Clare TD Joe Carey said the Government should be cautious about introducing any higher excise duty on fuels. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Fine Gael Clare TD Joe Carey said the Government should be cautious about introducing any higher excise duty on fuels. Photograph: Eamon Ward

 

A number of TDs have expressed concern about a possible increase in taxes on diesel and claim it would impose an additional burden on businesses.

Government deputies, as well as some from Fianna Fáil, whose abstention is required to pass a budget, maintain the higher costs could then be passed on to consumers.

Seán Canney, the Galway East member of the Independent Alliance, said increasing excise duty on diesel would not be welcome “at a time when we are trying to nurse recovery”.

“I would also be concerned about increasing tax on diesel when we were encouraging people to buy diesel cars. I don’t think it would be fair either to increase taxes on some people but not on others.”

Fine Gael Clare TD Joe Carey expressed concern about an increase in tax on diesel, and said the Government should be cautious about introducing any higher excise duty on fuels.

“I would be very slow to increase the cost of fuels,” Mr Carey said. “My view that is that any increases in the cost of fuel would have a knock-on effect on our competitiveness and would lead to increases in the price of goods and services.”

Fianna Fáil Roscommon deputy Eugene Murphy said any increase in the price of diesel would be particularly felt by farmers and businesses.

“That would push a lot of hardship on people like business owners and farmers,” Mr Murphy said. “I wouldn’t think now is the right time to push that on those people.

“There is a lot of talk at the moment about getting rid of diesel cars but I don’t think jumping in now and pushing up the price is the way to deal with that.

“There is a lot of money going to the exchequer from petrol and diesel products as it is.”