Vice chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications and Fine Gael Mayo TD, John O’Mahony, has called on all fuel companies to pass on expected reductions in prices to their consumers. Deputy O’Mahony has welcomed the four cent drop in prices over the last month, but has stressed the need for the further anticipated five cent drop to be passed on to hard pressed consumers.
Deputy O’Mahonys’ comments come as Brent crude oil, which dictates European fuel prices, has fallen from $106 per barrel in March, to around $90 in June.
“In the first half of this year, we have seen rising fuel prices internationally. These hikes impact all sectors of our economy. Tourism suffers as air fares rise and the cost of car rentals increase. Farming becomes less profitable, as operating machinery becomes more and more expensive. We also see a knock-on effect at the supermarket with retailers passing the increased transportation costs on to the consumer. As a result it’s not surprising that the recent drop in fuel prices has come as a welcome relief to many, but I am hopeful that there is more to come.
“On average it takes three to four weeks for the change in prices on the international markets to reach the domestic economy, so we should be seeing a further five cent drop on a litre of fuel in the next month. I hope, and I would expect, that all retailers pass these savings onto their customers.
“There has been a slight rise in oil prices in recent days, due to a weakening US dollar and improved investor confidence, but this shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to pass on recent reductions. Any fluctuation – be it an increase or a drop – should take three to four weeks to reach the Irish market.”