Fuel price cut ‘a joke’: Cork taxi council says reductions will be 'wiped out by Friday'

There was no reduction in home heating and a Cork school principal said it was proving “very difficult” for schools to cover heating costs
Fuel price cut ‘a joke’: Cork taxi council says reductions will be 'wiped out by Friday'

It was announced yesterday that there would be a reduction of 20c per litre on petrol and 15c per litre of diesel, and a cut of 2c per litre on green diesel has also been agreed.

TAXI drivers in Cork have said the Government’s announcement of a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel “is going to make absolutely no difference”.

It was announced yesterday that there would be a reduction of 20c per litre on petrol and 15c per litre of diesel, and a cut of 2c per litre on green diesel has also been agreed.

Paschal Donohoe, the finance minister, said the measure would reduce the cost of a 60lt tank of petrol by €12 and a 60lt tank of diesel by €9.

The reduction will be in place until August 31 and will cost €320m.

Speaking to The Echo, Paul Lynch of the Cork Taxi Council said the cut in excise would be “wiped out by Friday” due to increasing costs of fuel.

He said that senior taxi drivers have described it as “a joke”.

“Prices at the moment are runaway and the Government are doing nothing,” he said.

“The excise cut is for everybody in transport and that means your hauliers as well and us and the buses. It’s the diesel that should have got the bigger cut, not the petrol.”

“Paschal [Donohue] can say he’s down €320m but there’s nothing about the other hundreds of millions that have been made all along off excise,” Mr Lynch said.

“Why in Malta is it €1.21 per litre for diesel? It’s capped. In Hungary and other countries along the border with Russia it’s capped at €1.30 and even in the UK it’s cheaper.

“It cost me €95 to fill the car this week, I’ve just over a quarter of a tank left and that should get me to Friday, so that’s Monday to Friday and normally if I spent €90 I’d be getting seven days out of it and now it might not get me to Friday,” he said.

Speaking at the Government announcement, Mr Donohoe said the country was experiencing the consequences of war and that Government cannot protect citizens and businesses from the entire impact of inflation.

 Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland. 9th Mar, 2022. Petrol and diesel had both passed the €2 per litre barrier in recent days. At this Maxol garage in Clonakilty, West Cork, diesel was more expensive than petrol. It comes as the government is cutting the excise on petrol and diesel by 20c and 15c respectively from midnight tonight. Credit: AG News/Alamy Live News.
Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland. 9th Mar, 2022. Petrol and diesel had both passed the €2 per litre barrier in recent days. At this Maxol garage in Clonakilty, West Cork, diesel was more expensive than petrol. It comes as the government is cutting the excise on petrol and diesel by 20c and 15c respectively from midnight tonight. Credit: AG News/Alamy Live News.

Mr Lynch said: “It’s like putting a plaster on the Grand Canyon”, adding that it’s not just taxi drivers or those working in transport feeling the effects, but the general public.

HOME HEATING

“There was no reduction in the excise on the home heating oil. It’s all well and good coming up with urban ideas but what about rural Ireland? A good 10 or 15 minutes north, south, east or west of Cork city centre is rural Ireland. They don’t have gas central heating, they might not have electric central heating, they would have oil,” he said.

Speaking of the spike in energy costs, Age Action head of advocacy and communications Celine Clarke said: “Already, by December 2021, energy costs were 34% higher than five years previously. With the possibility of a serious global energy crisis, prices will soon be beyond what many older persons can afford because they are on low, fixed incomes in retirement.

“From 1968 until 2013, everyone over the age of 70 was guaranteed a minimum quantity of electricity or gas, regardless of price, so that they could always meet their basic need for home heating.

“Age Action is calling for a new energy guarantee for older persons to restore certainty for those on lower retirement incomes who are living in poorly insulated homes. We estimate that 60% of the least energy-efficient homes [with BER of E, F, or G] are occupied by people aged 60 or older, most of whom are on low incomes and have very low cash savings, if any.”

Coláiste Eamann Rís principal Aaron Wolfe said it was proving “very difficult” for schools to cover heating costs.

Mr Wolfe said it was particularly difficult as windows were still being kept open for ventilation, meaning that heating was on longer and costing a lot more.

Meanwhile, Socialist Party TD Mick Barry, who spoke on the issue in the Dáil yesterday, said the cuts don’t go far enough and other measures needed to be taken to protect ordinary households.

He suggested the abolition of the USC, legislation to not just freeze but to cut rents, price controls on food, and a national minimum wage of €15 per hour.

He said workers “need to prepare to take action themselves” to show Government and employers that workers were prepared to defend their living standards.

In response to Mr Barry, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was not in a position to say what inflation would rise to but that it was “going to rise because of the war”.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more