Taoiseach condemns ‘shocking’ Russian airstrike on Ukrainian maternity hospital

Taoiseach condemns ‘shocking’ Russian airstrike on Ukrainian maternity hospital

Amid stinging criticism from a number of his own TDs of petrol stations “price gouging”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a private meeting of his party such examples of price-fixing are “completely unacceptable”.

“Any exploitation of a barbaric war such as this is morally reprehensible. Such profiteering is completely unacceptable on fuel prices. It is a barbaric act of cruelty on a civil population,” he said.

In response to criticism that the cut to excise do not go far enough, the Taoiseach told colleagues that energy security is also a serious issue and there are limitations in EU law such as the energy taxation directive on what changes can be made on price.

He made clear that Ireland is working with the EU Commission to see what flexibility can be achieved to ease the pressures on the cost of living, particularly in energy.

As a government, we are engaging with the commission on what can be done.

The serious disturbance to the grain market will also have a concerning impact domestically, he also warned.

“I’ll be meeting other leaders in France tomorrow to further discuss our shared challenges across the EU.

Micheál Martin was speaking at a Fianna Fail party meeting. Picture: Leah Farrell RollingNews.ie

“We must ensure we accelerate our use of renewables and ensure we have gas as a backup in the longer term to reduce our dependency on oil,” he said.

A spokesperson for one chain of petrol stations, Circle K, told the Irish Examiner that it “categorically refutes” claims that it implemented price changes across petrol and diesel on Wednesday as a result of the Government’s announcement of a reduction in excise duty.

“Our pricing is set in line with local and international market movements and wholesale market costs,” the spokesperson said.

“This was the case today and the same process is adhered to anytime there are price changes.”

The spokesperson also said that the invasion of Ukraine was having “a significant impact and leading to price pressures which is a challenge for all fuel retailers.”

“We are continuously focused on delivering the very best value for our customers, however, the current level of volatility within global markets driven by intense demand is posing a major challenge for everyone in the sector.”

The spokesperson said that if there were a reduction in the cost of refined petrol and diesel products globally, Circle K “will pass these decreases onto customers.”

The government’s move to cut excise duty was “a welcome development”, but “wholesale market costs continue to fluctuate day on day, and it is likely that despite certain amounts of government support we will continue to see pressure on prices in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson added.

Donohoe says narrative that energy prices are being changed due to carbon taxes is incorrect

In the Dáil earlier, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the narrative that energy prices are being changed because of carbon taxes is incorrect.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe. File Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mr Donohoe said the carbon tax is a “small contribution” to the total cost of fuel, and will help avoid future climate chaos.

He said he is acutely aware that for the business community, seeing the surge in petrol and diesel prices “is obviously a great cause of concern to them, and a cause I know of much anxiety to many”.

“The government wants to play its part in alleviating some of the difficulty that many are facing at the moment but equally, I do want to emphasise to deputies here this evening that the forces that are causing the changes and prices to change in energy, that these measures are responding to the consequences of war.

We can play a role in helping our economy deal with those costs. We can offer support, we can make a difference, but we cannot insulate our economy.

“It’s not possible for this or for any other government to give a commitment that we can insulate and that we can offset all of the costs that are due to happen due to this war that is taking place at the moment, but what we can do is make a difference.”

He said the country is in the “very, very early days” of the economic consequences of the war.

“The duration of those consequences, the scale of them, what they will mean for our country, what they will mean for our economy at this point is still unclear, but we know the risks are very significant,” he said.

Taoiseach condemns ‘shocking’ Russian airstrike on Ukrainian maternity hos

Read More

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.