Ireland cannot be insulated from impact of war in Europe, Ministers say

The expected cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel was formally announced by senior Government ministers at a press conference on Wednesday.

The reduction will be 20 cent per litre on petrol and 15 cent per litre of diesel.

A cut of 2 cent per litre on green diesel has been agreed.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan addressed the media.

“We are in the early days of an event that at the very least is going to change Europe,” Mr Donohoe said.

He said it was very likely Ireland will face more pressures and further changes in the price of energy, notwithstanding interventions to date

“We are not in a position to insulate…our country entirely from the global pressures that are taking place at the moment,” he said.

“We can help with many of the consequences that our country will face as a result of this war of terror,” Donohoe says. But Ireland cannot be totally insulated, he stressed.

The greatest costs of the war were being borne by others, he said, which differentiates from previous crises like Brexit and Covid.

Asked about the possibility of fuel rationing, Mr Ryan said the risk was low but “anything is possible in this very mad world”.

Mr McGrath said the overall cost will be in the order of hundreds of millions of euros. “The Government will meet the costs… whatever the cost is it is a cost we can afford.”

“This is something that we must do,” he says

Mr Donohoe said regardless of what Government announced, the Opposition “already have their scripts written, already have their tweets ready to go”.

He said it was time to set aside the normal script and recognise the nature of the risk and the consequences of war in Europe.

The times were too serious for what he described as auction politics.

On fuel, Mr McGrath said the Government does not control the price at the pumps, but it does have influence over some of the inputs.

Mr Donohoe stressed it was not possible to backdate the cut in excise duty to benefit those suppliers who may have purchased significant volumes of fuel already.

Mr Ryan said work was being done on energy security. He has been speaking to ESB about a gigawatt of offshore wind and how it can interact with hydrogen technologies.

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