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Sinn Féin urges Dublin government to go further on energy prices

The most obvious and immediate impact of the Ukraine invasion has been on the global price of oil

Sinn Féin has urged the Dublin government to go further, arguing that the planned cut to excise duty “doesn’t go far enough”.

It was confirmed today that the government would introduce a cut of 20 cent per litre on petrol and 15 cent per litre of diesel.

The measure, introduced amid concerns about growing pressures on the cost of living, will last until August 31.

The government estimates that the measure will cost €320 million.

The move, which was agreed following a virtual Cabinet meeting, will take effect from tomorrow.

At leaders’ questions today, Mary Lou McDonald said that she was happy “good sense has prevailed” and welcomed the government’s recognition of the crisis afflicting consumers.

However, she said: “Your approach, as set out, doesn’t go far enough.”

Ms McDonald said that excise duty should be reduced so that the cost of fuel drops to 1.75 euro per litre.

“Hikes overnight erode the benefit of the cut you now propose,” she said.

“Even following your proposed intervention, people will still wake up tomorrow and pay two euros per litre.

“They simply cannot afford two euros per little today and they will not be able to afford that tomorrow.”

She also raised concerns about the cost of home heating oil.

“I am very disappointed to see that your proposal does nothing to bring down the outrageous price of home heating oil.

“People now face prices of between 800 and 900 euros for a half fill of oil.

“This is crazy.

“It is hugely stressful for workers and families trying to heat their home.”

The Sinn Féin leader urged Mr Martin to “recalibrate your intervention, to make it fit with the realities of the crisis”.

“We can’t have delay.

“We can’t have half measures.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who also briefly clashed with Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae during his response to Sinn Féin, defended the approach of his government.

“The government has been working on this over the last number of days.

“Everybody knows that first of all, global factors have caused the massive increase in the price of oil and the price of gas.

“The impact of the war in Ukraine has been stark, in terms of the dramatic increases in the price of oil and gas.”

He said that a reduction of 25 cent in diesel and petrol prices per litre, as called for by Sinn Féin, was prohibited by EU law, adding: “We are working with our European colleagues to see can we bring greater flexibility into that.”

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