Thursday, 22 March 2012
Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages
Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
It would be very easy if one removed the subsidies to the farming industry and all other beneficiaries. One would simply price everything at the market price. We do not want to do that for economic reasons. The subsidies make a very valuable contribution. Where there is a subsidisation scheme targeting certain sectors of the economy, there are different prices. The only way around it is to have one price and a system of rebates, but that is not easy to achieve either. Under EU law, one would have to offer a rebate to everybody who bought diesel in the country, regardless of his country of origin. One would have to rebate passenger transport also. Therefore, the solution is not simple. These solutions are being considered but I am not making any promises or holding out any hope of a ready solution. In the meantime, I fully support the efforts of the Revenue Commissioners to clamp down on fuel laundering.