Fuels for Ireland disappointed with government’s failure to remove ‘unfair fuel levy’

Fuels for Ireland disappointed with government’s failure to remove ‘unfair fuel levy’

Fuels for Ireland (FFI) says it is disappointed with the Government’s failure to stop penalising consumers at the pump and remove the NORA levy from petrol, diesel and home heating oil. 

The group says the levy discriminates against households, farms and businesses in rural Ireland.

At present, the levy, which is the sole contributor to Ireland’s Climate Action Fund, is only paid by people who use petrol, diesel or kerosene to heat their homes at a rate of 2c per litre, which FFI says disproportionately impacts households, farms and businesses in rural Ireland.

The charge, known as the National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA) levy, was originally put in place to fund the activities of NORA, the agency which maintains Ireland’s oil reserves, and it amounts to 2c on every litre of oil. 

The ‘unjust’ charge is now being used solely to fund the Government’s Climate Action Fund, FFI says, meaning other energy consumers like those with gas heating or who use solid fuel do not pay into the Climate Action Fund.

‘Unfair levy’

Speaking on behalf of FFI members, CEO Kevin McPartlan said: “The NORA levy, which is subject to a European Commission State aid complaint, is being unfairly added to the price at the pump resulting in our consumers continuing to be the only funders of the Climate Action Fund in this Budget. 

“The failure of this Government to stop this discrimination, against mostly rural consumers, flies in the face of their commitments to ensure Ireland reduces its carbon emissions by 2050.

“Minister Donohoe could have helped those consumers who have no choice but to use their cars to get to work or school, our farming community who produce food to export around the world and those living in rural Ireland who heat their homes with oil because no alternatives exist, by removing this levy but he failed to.

“FFI members are proud to play our role in tackling climate change, as set out in our strategy to make our industry carbon neutral by 2050, but our consumers can no longer be discriminated against today.”

Fuels for Ireland brings together companies involved in the importation, distribution and marketing of petroleum products and low carbon liquid fuels, and is made up of Applegreen, Circle K, Corrib Oil, Emo, Inver Energy, Irving Oil, LCC, Maxol, Top Oil and Valero.

The National Oil Reserves Agency is responsible for ensuring that Ireland meets its obligations under the relevant EU Legislation and International Energy Agency (IEA) rules. The NORA levy is collected by oil companies from their consumers, and currently stands at 2 cents per litre.