PRA urges UK Chancellor to cut fuel duty, warning NI retailers will lose out
The Petrol Retailers Association has urged the UK Chancellor to cut fuel duty, warning that retailers in Northern Ireland are being put at a disadvantage.
Global energy prices are still volatile due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, unduly impacting consumers at the same time as cost-of-living increases, the PRA says.
The PRA is calling on the Chancellor to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel duty to shield consumers from international events.
The Republic of Ireland (ROI) has cut fuel duty, putting forecourts in Northern Ireland (NI) at a competitive disadvantage as motorists and fleet operators cross the border to fill their tanks.
Gordon Balmer, Executive Director of the PRA said: “It is crucial that the Government takes steps to reduce the burden of energy prices on consumers. Government inaction is now impacting our members in NI, who are unable to match the prices of their counterparts across the border. We strongly urge the Chancellor to follow the example of other European countries and cut fuel duty.”
In a letter to the Chancellor, the PRA warned: “We expect that NI residents that can take advantage of the significant difference in pump prices across the border will do so and heavy goods vehicles (HGV) operators will be sending their fleets in greater numbers to ROI border sites to replenish their vehicles, reducing demand for petrol filling stations in NI and hampering their ability to continue their operation through no fault of their own.
“This is putting our NI members at a competitive disadvantage, as it is impossible to match prices across the border without Government intervention.
“While the ROI, along with other European countries, has taken significant steps to shield their consumers and businesses from soaring energy prices, the UK is yet to act. At a time when cost-of-living is increasing, rising energy prices are something motorists in this country can’t afford.
“This will impact the poorest among us the hardest as they are slowly priced off the roads. The need for Government action is urgent. With no end to the Ukraine crisis in sight it falls upon the Government to shield its population. The continued absence of action will have a detrimental impact on UK consumers.”