Independent TD for Limerick County, Richard O’Donoghue, has accused the government of “robbing the people of this country”.
During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022, he expressed his concerns over rising fuel – diesel and petrol – prices.
He told the house that delaying Budget 2023 until October will result in “the government taking another €2 billion in tax on fuel alone”.
He revealed that “in 2020, the government took in €2 billion and now, it is taking in €6 billion”. “It is returning €2.6 billion to the people of Ireland,” the TD told the chamber.
He then referenced remarks from An Taoiseach, which indicated that 2 million people in this country have vehicles and 2.5 million people are in employment.
Elaborating on the matter, O’Donoghue said: “There are 2 million vehicles in this country, and 99% of them run on fossil fuels.”
“Those vehicles help to run the economy by helping people to go to work and thereby feed their families. The government’s answer in that regard is to take 49% of the cost of fuel in taxation,” he explained.
He told the chamber that this is “not protecting” the people of this country.
He then asked why the government does not take a leaf out of Malta’s book regarding fuel prices. He acknowledged that it has “taken the position of protecting its people, even if it has a higher debt”.
“Diesel in Malta costs €1.21/L today and petrol costs €1.36/L. We are paying €2.15/L for petrol, and our government takes 49% of that in tax.”
“Why do we not go back to 2020 and put in place the cap for which I asked? Last year, I asked the Government to cap taxes.”
“That would have given 40c/L back to every motorist in the county,” he argued.
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