The prices of petrol and diesel have surged upwards at the pumps again in the last month, according to the latest survey of retail prices from AA Ireland. A litre of petrol now costs 154.9 cent, up by a full 7 cent per litre since December. Diesel prices also rose sharply, up by 6.2 cent to an average of 153.1 cent in the last month.
That increase alone adds €10 per month to the cost of running a modest family car. The AA calculates that a car doing 12,000 miles per year at a fuel economy rate of 30 miles per gallon uses 150 litres of fuel per month. 7 cents per litre equates to just over €10 for petrol users and 6.2 cent per litre equates to €9.30 for diesel users.
“The bad news keeps coming and this is one of the biggest monthly rises in price that we have ever seen.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “These increases include the rise in VAT which came into force on 1st January, and indeed that is a key part of the story. Rising international prices are made much worse here in Ireland by this government’s decision to do exactly what the last government did – up the taxes.”
The VAT increase added approximately 2.4 cent per litre to the cost of both fuels. The rest of the increase is down to an increase in European prices.
“This is causing huge frustration right across Europe.” Says Faughnan. “It is down to a combination of a falling Euro and rises in the price of gasoline and diesel coming out of refineries. Unfortunately there is no sign of prices easing, and after a dreadful year in 2011 it appears that 2012 is starting off even worse.”
Rising fuel prices are now a serious threat to businesses and major drain on the disposable income of almost every family in the country.
“For the price to go up by €10 per car in just one month is a massive blow.” Says Faughnan. “But we should all remember that for the most part this has not happened because of international prices or because of the global financial situation. It has happened because our own government is doing it to us. Like its predecessor, the current government has made a serious mistake in thinking that it can raise revenue by continually raising prices. People simply do not have the money to spare. Force them to spend it on fuel and they cannot spend it elsewhere in the economy.”
“The cost of fuel has now reached crisis level. Even this early in the year, the government should look again at its budgeting and drop those super-taxes. As it stands nobody wins”.
While many motorists feel trapped by high prices the AA points out that you can fight back. By applying the fuel saving tips on the AA’s website you can reduce your fuel consumption significantly – enough to give yourself back that lost €10 and more.
Note: The AA’s Fuel Saving Tips.
Full details of the AA fuel price survey for May along with previous months for comparison are available on the Association’s website at http://www.aaireland.ie/AA/Motoring-advice/Petrol-Prices.aspx .