Finance Minister Michael McGrath has said the Government is considering a measure on the rising cost of fuel in the forthcoming Budget.
As part of a range of cost-of-living measures last year, the Government implemented changes to fuel excise which resulted in a 21 cent per litre reduction for petrol and a 16 cent cut for diesel.
However, as planned, there was a phased reintroduction of the rates at the start of June and September this year, with a final 8 cent increase for petrol and 6 cent increase for diesel due on October 31.
Speaking at the Fianna Fail parliamentary party think-in in Thurles, Co Tipperary, on Tuesday Mr McGrath said the current legal position is that the next excise increase is still due to happen, but that a new Budget measure may occur before the deadline.
With prices above 1.80 euro at nearby filling stations, he told reporters at the Horse & Jockey Hotel: “I’m very conscious of where prices are at this point in time. Wholesale prices are moving.
“If you take the cost of a barrel of oil – in mid-July it was around 70 dollars, today it’s over 90 dollars.
“And that’s because of, you know, supply decisions that have been made by those who control these things.
“So we’re not blind to that reality and we will consider that in the context of the Budget, that’s the appropriate time to make that decision.”
The Budget takes place on October 10, weeks before the next increase in fuel rates is due.
Mr McGrath added that the final mix of tax measures has not been decided, saying he anticipates that all those with Universal Social Charge and income tax liabilities “will benefit” from the Budget.