Committee Calls On Treasury To Reduce Road Fuel Duty
Session: Session currently unavailable
Date: 10 March 2022
Reference: CfI 02/21/22
The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Infrastructure has written to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP asking that she temporarily reduces road vehicle fuel duty.
The call for a temporary reduction comes after the Irish government has today reduced road fuel duty to the minimum allowed under EU rules due to the rapidly rising costs for both businesses and individuals.
Chairperson of the Committee, Jonathan Buckley MLA said: “We understand that fuel duty on road vehicle fuel is high to encourage conservation and encourage a move to greener technologies. At the same time, the impact of rising energy costs are causing considerable hardship for businesses, for consumers and for the wider economy.
“With the reduction in road fuel duty by the Irish Government, there is now a significant price differential and we can be in no doubt that many drivers, especially in border areas, will cross the border to fill their tanks. This price differential will disadvantage hauliers and delivery businesses located away from the border, compared to their counterparts close to it.
“I am requesting that the Financial Secretary respond by Tuesday 15 March, in time for the final meeting of the Committee.”
In addition to requesting a temporary reduction in road vehicle fuel duty, the Committee is also asking that the April 2022 deadline for changes to rebated fuel entitlement be put on hold. This entitlement currently allows off-road machinery and equipment to use ‘red’ diesel; something that is to be ended in April. The Committee is fully committed to supporting all appropriate policies to reduce carbon emissions but believes that the current April 2022 deadline is, in the current circumstances, neither appropriate nor proportionate.
Mr Buckley concluded: “We firmly believe that these are extraordinary circumstances and that the Treasury should listen to appeals from consumers and business alike.”