Petrol price changes will ‘have an immediate effect on inflation’

Any change to petrol prices in the new year would have an immediate effect on inflation, according to the vice-president of the Irish Road Haulage Association. Ger Hyland was speaking as Climate Minister Eamon Ryan has said some Government supports keeping fuel prices low - such as excise and VAT changes - will likely be reversed in March. Minister Ryan said the cost of motor fuel at the forecourt has come down significantly in the past few weeks.


He said measures introduced to curtail the financial hit on motorists and home owners will be reviewed in the coming months.

Mr Hyland told Late Breakfast people will feel it in their wallets. "Our reaction is one of fear for a lot of our members," he said. "We have been struggling very much in the last year - the price of fuel has been astronomical.

"We've never seen fuel priced like it before. "Our parts bills have gone [up] between 20% and 40%, our tyres have gone EUR100 per type. "There's a lot of our members out there at the present time, and they're just hanging on the edge".

Possible protests

He said any increase in haulage costs would be passed on to the consumer.

"The 16c that was alleviated on the diesel by the Government will be swallowed up very, very quickly. "If this is taken away from us, it's going to have an immediate effect on inflation. "You're looking at somewhere between 4% and 5% going on the supermarket shelves, I'd say, immediately".

Hauliers protesting in Dublin against high fuel prices in 2005. Hauliers protesting in Dublin against high fuel prices in 2005.

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Mr Hyland said a specific fund for the haulage industry is a "welcome help", but will not alleviate the pressure. "Our vehicles are using somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 litres of fuel per week," he said. "At 16c a litre, if you've a vehicle using 2,000 litres of fuel per week, it's an additional EUR320 on the cost of that fuel - which is EUR1,300 per month extra.

"So the help that Minister Ryan and the Government are giving our association would be swallowed up in one month," he added. He also suggested that members may take to the streets again to protest any change. "There is an element of our industry out there that are really, really struggling," he said.

"If this 16c a litre comes back on the fuel, they won't have an option... and we won't be able to keep them off the streets," he added.

Main image: A man filling his car up with fuel at a petrol station in February 2022.

Picture by: Graham Hunt / Alamy Stock Photo