Thursday, 22 March 2012
Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages
Michael Noonan (Minister, Department of Finance; Limerick City, Fine Gael)
I will get information for Senator Ó Clochartaigh on the total tax take on a litre of diesel and a litre of petrol. I do not have such information to hand at present. In response to Senator Darragh O'Brien's query, there has been a reduction in the draw-down of fuels in the first two months of the year. The figure for petrol has reduced by approximately 6% in the first two months of the year but as the Senator is aware, this could be for a variety of reasons, including the mild weather. One would need to consider the trend over a longer period. I revert to the Senator's own figure for the price at the pumps being €1.68 per litre at present and note it was €1.50 on budget day. The price increase amounted to 3 cent in respect of VAT and 1.5 cent in respect of carbon tax. Consequently, 4.5 cent of the 18 cent increase is due to tax and yet, in public debate, there is a pretence that it all is due to tax. This is not the case as there are economic circumstances, of which all Members are aware, that are driving the cost at present. Members will have observed the latest move by Saudi Arabia, in which it removed all the caps on its production in an effort to bring down the price of fuel internationally. The Saudis intend to increase supply, particularly into the United States, which is helpful internationally. I will provide the other statistics to those Senators who requested them.