The latest price survey has revealed that the cost of petrol and diesel has risen sharply over the last month, with petrol prices remaining on a steady rise towards the record prices witnessed in 2008.
A litre of petrol will now cost consumers upwards of €1.27.7 cent at the pumps, which is a dramatic increase of 5.30 cent since the start of the year. Although diesel remained at a relatively constant price, it rose sharply last month by 2.20 cent per litre, an increase of 2.80 cent since the start of 2010 and
it will now cost on average €1.17.8 cent per litre.
The striking rises to fuel prices in Ireland have been significantly affected by the changes in global oil prices, which have had a particular effect
on Irish prices due to the countries high dependency on oil. A barrel of oil rose by $5 last and now costs approximately $82.
This global trend of higher oil prices has been compounded by tax increases imposed in the last budget, which added four cent to petrol and five cent to diesel costs.
One expert said of the rises, “What is most striking is how much fuel prices are headed towards 2008 prices. If those on low pay were unable to cope with record prices then, they are even less likely now.”
In March 2009, a litre of diesel cost consumers 95 cent and a litre of petrol 103.4 cent, but these prices have since risen by 19 per cent in a year. The low prices that were enjoyed at the beginning of 2009 were in direct response to oil prices dropping to below $35 per barrel.
The instability in fuel prices during the last few months have been of major concern to the public as they have a significant impact on the rate of inflation and Ireland’s economic competitiveness.
Motorists have also seen motor insurance premiums rise, almost in sync with those of fuel prices.
A recent study, which analysed pump prices and tax changes in 10 western European countries, showed that Irish diesel car owners have seen a tax take at the pump of nearly three times more than the average for Western Europe in the last 15 months.
The proportion of fuel cost that is tax related, also increased by 8.33 per cent, which is well above the 2.89 per cent average for the countries investigated.