Taoiseach hints final excise increase on fuel may not go ahead

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has suggested that the final increase of excise duty on petrol and diesel will not go ahead.

At the start of this month, petrol excise rates increased by 7 cent per litre while diesel prices rose by 5 cent.

On 31st October, rates were expected to be fully restored with an increase of 8 cent for petrol and 6 cent for diesel.

However, speaking at the Fine Gael think-in in Limerick, Mr Varadkar said he wouldn’t like to see the final restoration of excise duty due at the end of October to drive prices back up to €2 again.

He said: “One of the prices that I am very aware of, and I know all of my colleagues are very aware of, is the price of petrol and diesel.

“It’s the price that’s in your face every day as you drive down the road and it is tacking back up again, in part because some of the temporary tax cuts have been reversed but also because the price of oil is going up again.

“If you remember, we cut excise around the time it hit €2 — you know, I wouldn’t like to see us put excise up to hit €2 again and then to have to bring it down again.

“So I think what we’ll do between now and Budget Day is really monitor prices at the pump and that will allow us on Budget Day to make that decision.”