FUEL PRICES across the country are “going out of control”, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) has said.

A planned increase in the fuel excise rate applied to petrol, diesel and marked gas oil has been postponed by the Government. The temporary excise rate reductions, which were introduced last year in response to higher fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine, had been due to expire on October 31.

However, as part of Budget 2024, which was announced on Tuesday by Minister for Finance Michael McGrath (FF), the temporary excise rate reduction has been extended until March 31, 2024.

Petrol had been due to go up 8c, diesel by 6c and green diesel by 3c.

In a motion before Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, Cllr O’Callaghan had sought a deferral of the tax. From July 1st to October 1st, fuel prices have already gone up by 37c “without any increase and conservatively you could say the Government have 24c of that 37c” he noted.

“It is very frustrating, we’re battling for school transport at the minute, how will they keep getting our kids to school. I hope they will see sense and row back on this increase, it is going out of control,” the Kilmurry based managing director of O’Callaghan Fuels added.

Builders have been reluctant to put prices on new builds because of the increase, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) said. “The retailers on the ground suffer and the reality is the prices go up,” said Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF). “It is another challenge to the way we live and do things,” observed Cllr Pat McMahon (FF).

Sinn Féin’s proposal to ask the charges not proceed were rejected in September, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) told the meeting.

Voicing her support, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) commented, “Cllr O’Callaghan has direct knowledge from his expertise, this is not a budget issue so there is time for the reversal”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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