“RURAL Ireland will suffer as result of the costs. Not everyone has a taxi or a Luas outside their door,” a meeting of Cork County Council was told this week.
Councillor Frank O’Flynn made the comments in relation to the rising cost of living as all councillors agreed the council should write to the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe calling for a further temporary reduction in the excise duties on diesel and petrol. The council is also calling for additional relief for users of agricultural (green) diesel.
Last week the Government announced a temporary reduction to excise duty of 20c per litre on petrol and 15c on diesel. There was also a 2c per litre reduction for marked, or green, diesel.
Fine Gael councillor John O’Sullivan raised the issue.
“We are in extraordinary times,” he said.
“We are in a war situation in Europe. It does behove the Government to reduce the cost to all consumers. Everything that can be done should be done.”
His Fine Gael colleague, councillor Marie O’Sullivan, said the current situation will inevitably lead to businesses having to increase their prices.
“In my own business, I have had to absorb three price increases since last June from all our suppliers,” she said. “There is a fourth one coming at the end of March.
“It is inevitable that all businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, will have to put up their prices which we don’t want to do after nearly two years of being closed. It is a big issue.”
Fine Gael Councillor Kevin Murphy said the cut of 2c/l to the excise duty on agricultural (green) diesel was “astounding”.
“Green diesel has increased by about 60 or 70c in the last two months,” he said.
Independent councillor Frank Roche also said the recent reduction in green diesel was an insult and fuel costs are causing severe problems in numerous sectors.
“Every day I have hauliers who are barely surviving ringing me saying the price of diesel is crippling. Coming from the farming community I don’t know what the farmers will do this summer.”
Independent councillor Paul Hayes said fishermen and small business owners are also experiencing similar issues.
Mr O’Flynn said rural Ireland will suffer because of the rising cost of living.
“Transport and connection are the most important things in our country,” he said. “Rural Ireland will suffer because of the costs. Something must be done over the next few months to ease the burden.”