A WEST Cork sea safari operator is facing fuel prices that are double what they were last year.
Micheal Cottrell, the owner of Baltimore Sea Safari, admitted the fuel price increases are ‘scary.’
He said they are just a few weeks away from the start of their 2022 boat trip season and prices are already ‘over double what they were when we started our season last year.’
Traditionally, he said the season doesn’t start until the weather settles – usually before Easter – but they are concerned that prices could rise even more.
He said the company has no plans to raise its prices because they are hoping fuel prices will stabilise.
Kathleen Kirby of Tria West Cork Oil said their ‘actual buying price – both petrol and diesel – is, on this day, far in excess of the selling price at the pumps.’
She said the government’s cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel announced on Wednesday, will be ‘of benefit’ but it will depend on the daily fluctuations in oil prices.
During the past week, she said, it has fluctuated by as much as 20 cents in a single day.
Local fishermen have said the price of fuel is almost making it unsustainable to go fishing.
‘Crews work on a share of the catch after expenses have been deducted. The main expense being diesel means that the soaring cost of this means no money or very little is left for sharing,’ said John Nolan, general manager of Castletownbere Fishermens Co-op.
Meanwhile, at a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG), who runs her own café in Kinsale, said that she has had three price increases from all of her suppliers and it’s all down to fuel costs.
‘I needed to get big gas bottles from Bandon Co-op recently and they don’t have them and don’t know when they can get them. We’re in a very serious situation and anything that can be done to help suppliers in terms of fuel costs would be welcomed,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan, who said it’s becoming a ‘vicious circle’ for everyone.
Independent TD Michael Collins said the soaring petrol and diesel prices in Ireland are predominantly caused by the government’s disjointed climate action policies of heaping taxes on consumers, and he accused the Taoiseach of ‘playing games.’
‘The Taoiseach and his government are fooling no-one, as we know that the carbon tax is the key contributor to motor fuels,’ he said.
He added that both motor fuel and home heating oil had seen ‘staggering’ increases in the past few weeks. ‘This is disproportionately affecting people in rural Ireland, who have very limited access to public transport and alternative fuel sources,’ he said.