Fuel costs and utility bills could go through the roof as cost-of-living measures are unlikely to be extended – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Fuel costs and utility bills could go through the roof as cost-of-living measures are unlikely to be extended

Petrol, diesel and utility bills will rise and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has warned that cost-of-living excise duties and VAT cuts will not be extended.

The government cut excise duties on petrol by 21 cents, diesel by 16 cents and marked up diesel by 5.4 cents in April as record levels of inflation pushed up car costs.

The VAT on electricity and gas bills has also been reduced from 13.5% to 9%.

Minister Paschal Donohoe extended the tariff and VAT reductions until February 28 in the budget.

However, Green Party leader Mr Ryan said he did not expect the cost-of-living measure to be extended further beyond February.

He said one of the government’s key objectives is to “maintain an appropriate economic approach to this cost-of-living crisis. In that economic approach you can’t just rely on corporate tax because that’s not a given, so we need excise duty and the likes of those do give us a real broad base,” reports Independent.

On motor fuel, Ryan said he has created an €18m fund for the transport industry that allows companies to claim between €200 and €1,200 per vehicle, depending on the size of their fleet.

Newly appointed finance minister Michael McGrath said his department was carrying out an assessment of the impact the measures had on businesses and households.

McGrath said there is “a lot of volatility” in the area of oil and fuel right now and it is too early to “make a definitive assessment.”

“We are two months out from those decisions having to be made but I have been engaging already with the officials in relation to the evidence we will need to inform those decisions and then there will be political discussions in the weeks ahead,” he told the Irish Independent.

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar noted that some of the cost-of-living measures may need to be extended.

“And I think everyone understands that we can’t extend all of those things, but at the same time, with cost of living so high, I think some of them will have to be extended,” he said, reports Independent.

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