Dáil Éireann - Volume 525 - 26 October, 2000

Written Answers. - Fuel Prices.

50. Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the progress that has been made in the talks between his officials and the Irish Road Hauliers Association; if issues other than a possible reduction in excise duties on diesel and petrol are being discussed; if he will outline these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23641/00]

54. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Finance if he will make a statement on his meeting with the Irish Road Hauliers Association on 6 September 2000; and the consideration he has given to the concerns expressed to him with regard to fuel prices. [23479/00]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 54 together.

I can confirm to the House that I met a delegation from the Irish Road Haulage Association on 6 September 2000 to discuss their concerns over the increase in fuel prices. In my press statement after that meeting, I said that I would give full consideration to the proposals from the association in the context of the preparations for the forthcoming budget.

I can confirm also to the House that following a meeting between the Taoiseach, myself and the IRHA on 13 September 2000, it was decided to set up a task force to discuss road haulage issues. The inaugural meeting of the task force, under the chair of an official from the Department of the Taoiseach, was held on 21 September 2000. Items other than the reduction in excise duty on diesel and petrol were also discussed. As the work of the task force is ongoing, I do not con[149] sider it prudent for me to make further comment at this stage.