Soaring fuel prices have been in the headlines in recent weeks as motorists have been warned they could pay up to £2 a liter at the pump in the coming weeks.
Prices soared to terrifying heights following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with heating oil prices doubling in the past two weeks.
Farm vehicles also cost more to run, with the price of red diesel rising rapidly.
Additionally, the construction industry will no longer be allowed to use discount fuel when the red diesel changes come into effect on April 1.
Today, the average price of red diesel in Northern Ireland is 130.43 pence per liter (excluding VAT), according to www.boilerjuice.com.
Boiler Juice, which was established in 2004, provides instant online quotes from participating suppliers, ranging from small independent family businesses to major regional and national brands.
According to the website, the cost of a liter of red diesel a week ago was 78.51 pence per litre, an increase of 51.92 pence per liter over the last seven days.
In March 2021 the average price was around 45.52 pence per litre.
TUV chief Jim Allister said the government must act on fuel prices.
“The crippling and astronomical rise in fuel prices demands urgent action from the government,” the MP for North Antrim commented.
“The burden on families and our economy is becoming unbearable.
“While excise duty on fuel is fixed, regardless of the price at the pump, the higher the price, the more VAT the government collects, as it is 20% on the final price.
“While VAT on certain energy products, heating oil and electricity, is capped at 5%, the same could and should be done on fuel prices.
“In this way, HMG could have an immediate and positive impact on runaway fuel prices.”
He continued: ‘In Northern Ireland we have the additional restriction of the Protocol which keeps us under the EU VAT regime (Article 8), and therefore there is a prohibition on reducing the VAT below the minimum EU dictate of five percent.
“Hence the absurdity that if the Chancellor decided to remove VAT from fuel and electricity, we would not be able to benefit from it because it is the EU order, not HMG’s, which governs our VAT.
“Yet another reason why the iniquitous Protocol must go,” concluded Mr. Allister.