The Irish government must act now to protect businesses from rising fuel prices and consumers from spiralling inflation, according to FTA Ireland (FTAI), the business organisation representing Ireland’s logistics sector.
Aidan Flynn, CEO of FTAI, commented: “With fuel accounting for more than 41 per cent of the cost of running articulated lorry fleets – and the price of a barrel of oil now breaching $120 – the government must take urgent action to protect Ireland’s supply chain. FTAI is urging the government to review its current diesel rebate programme to make it more accessible and efficient so that the inflationary pressures on the industry charged with delivering everything Ireland needs can be alleviated. The scheme, in which Revenue will repay some of the mineral oil tax paid by a qualifying road transport operator, provides a 0.075 cent per litre rebate which is payable three months after the fuel has been purchased, with certain terms and conditions applying. Currently, less than one third of qualifying haulage operators are active participants in the rebate scheme, demonstrating its ineffectiveness. Furthermore, commercial fleet operators that distribute their own goods are responsible for the majority of retail and food services distribution, and yet do not qualify for the current diesel rebate scheme; compressed natural gas (CNG) is also excluded.”
Mr Flynn continued: “FTAI is also urging the government to reduce excise duty, with the rate of reduction linked with the international pricing of a barrel of oil; the higher the price, the more excise reduction. This must be activated immediately if Ireland’s businesses are to remain viable and competitive.”