“The cost of a barrel of crude oil has fallen, yet petrol remains at a higher price since the start of the year.

“There are still significant differences from garage to garage. I notice that many places in Ennis, for example, are charging about 133.9 per litre. Some places, if you shop around, are charging 128 per litre. The fact of the matter is that a barrel of crude oil, costs less now than it did at the start of the year, yet petrol prices have risen by about 10%.

AA Roadwatch is saying that the average rise is by about 12c per litre since January, while the costs of diesel has risen by about 10.5 cents a litre. Yet during the same period, the cost of a barrel of oil on world markets dropped to approximately $70 this month, down more than $10.

One of the major issues with rising fuel prices is the amount of tax government has burdened on motorists and fuel users. It is estimated that the average family will have a monthly fuel bill of €200 or so, of this, more than €120 goes directly to the government in tax.

The Government is not providing or really supporting alternatives to carbon fuels. They are happy to impose carbon tax on ordinary working families as a mere revenue generating tool. This fact is proven by the reality that various wind farm projects, a number of which are in County Clare, cannot feed into the national grid despite having direct access to the infrastructure in the ground at Moneypoint and Ardnacrusha.

I encourage motorists and consumers to shop around when buying petrol and diesel. The website pumps.ie contains detailed information on price differences and is worth keeping an eye on.”