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Starting Monday, there will be increases in petrol, diesel, broadband, and phone charges in Ireland. What strategies will you employ to manage the rising cost of living?

Dublin: The Republic of Ireland is implementing a phased restoration of excise taxes on petrol, diesel, and green diesel, previously exempted, starting April 1. This measure will lead to an increase in fuel prices, with petrol seeing a four percent rise per litre, diesel three percent, and marked gas/green diesel 1.5 percent. The current action marks the second phase of this tax hike, with full restoration expected by August. Additionally, major companies will increase broadband, mobile, and television service rates, further contributing to the rising cost of living.

The decision to reinstate the tax follows a period of falling fuel prices since March 2022, when then-Finance Minister Pascal Donohoe reduced excise duty amidst escalating fuel costs due to the Ukraine conflict. Despite opposition and concerns from consumer groups, the government, supported by Minister Pascal Donohoe, remains steadfast in its decision, citing the necessity to fund development activities.

However, critics, including Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, argue against the tax increase, highlighting its adverse impact on the already burdened populace. Opposition leader Peadar Toibin also advocates against the hike, foreseeing potential cross-border purchases from Northern Ireland due to increased prices.

Ireland Fuels CEO Kevin McPartlan predicts a substantial retail price surge for petrol and diesel, compounded by impending tax and carbon tax hikes. Such increases are anticipated to pose challenges for families and businesses alike. Fuels for Ireland urges Finance Minister Michael McGrath to establish an expert group to review fuel prices, comprising industry and environmental representatives.

Moreover, telecommunications giants like Eir, Vodafone, Sky Ireland, and Three are set to raise monthly plan rates, ranging between 2 and 8 euros. This trend, including an upcoming rate hike from Virgin Media, underscores the broader issue of rising living costs. Consumers may face difficulty switching providers due to a European Court ruling, prompting calls for legislative action akin to measures in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Amidst these developments, the government faces mounting pressure to address the concerns of its citizens, balancing fiscal imperatives with socioeconomic realities.

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