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GOOD NEWS.. PRICES FALL AT PETROL PUMPS BAD NEWS.. December Budget will drive up costs again.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE BY ALANA FEARON news@irishmirror.ie

CASH-STRAPPED motorists have been enjoying lower prices at the pumps as petrol dropped to 152.5c a litre this weekend.

But experts have warned the reprieve on our wallets is only temporary - and costs could reach record highs of 170c a litre again after December's Budget.

Superstorm Sandy in the US and a stronger euro have combined to push down fuel prices across the country in the past week.

Yesterday, the average price for petrol was 159.9c a litre and 155.9c for diesel.

The reduced costs are still significantly higher than this time last year when motorists were paying 149.9c for petrol and 143.9c for diesel. But they are a far cry from the record high 170c that car owners had to fork out to fill up just two months ago and Ireland was ranked among the dearest countries in the world to fill your tank.

The cheapest fuel prices in Ireland were in Birr, Co Offaly, yesterday where it cost 152.5c a litre for petrol and 146.5c for diesel.

But the bad news is that the bargains at the pumps aren't here to stay - and there's more misery on the way next month.

The AA's Conor Faughnan revealed: "It is good news that motorists have had some let-up in recent days but that doesn't change the fact that we are still stuck in a major fuel-cost crisis and we shouldn't for a minute think that the problem has been solved.

"Some days are good at the pumps, others are bad but it doesn't change that the underlying problem is that there's too much tax on fuel in this country and the Government has to fix this."

The Government has been urged to cut fuel tax in the upcoming Budget to ease the strain on motorists.

While it's already been revealed that car tax will be hiked, no one knows if ministers have listened to the protests about fuel costs.

But Mr Faughnan fears the Government will sneak in a price hike under a carbon tax increase.

He revealed: "My fear is they will increase costs by increasing carbon tax. "We already know that car tax is going up and that's more misery for motorists and fuel probably will go up too.

"But if the Government is cowardly, they will disguise a fuel hike by putting up carbon tax."

CONCERN The AA's Conor Faughnan said he was worried a carbon tax increase would be included in December's budget
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 5, 2012
Words:422
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