I thank the Deputy for his question. The point he is making to me about the rising cost of fuel gives a different perspective to the debate that is under way on carbon taxation. The reality is that some forms of fuel are increasing in price. Between January and September of this year, the average prices per litre of petrol and diesel rose by approximately 7 cent and 12 cent, respectively. The prices of these fuel forms are determined by a number of factors from tax to the price of the raw materials and exchange rates. The price of fuel on the forecourt is set by the individual retailer. The current excise rates are 58.7 cent on a litre of petrol and 47.9 cent on diesel. These rates have been in place since 2012 and are kept under review. In budget 2019, I made no changes to these rates and have no intention of changing them further as part of this year's budget.
As was noted in the tax strategy group's environmental paper, the Irish rate of excise on petrol is the 12th highest in the EU while diesel is the tenth highest. They are lower than many of our neighbouring countries.
The Deputy will be aware that, for large-scale diesel consumers, the diesel rebate scheme was introduced in 2013. It offers a partial excise to qualified operators and begins when the price reaches €1.23 per litre, gradually rising to a maximum rebate of 7.5 cent when diesel reaches €1.54 per litre.