Dáil Éireann - Volume 606 - 04 October, 2005
Written Answers. - Tax Code.
Mr. Bruton Mr. Bruton
289. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the excise charged per unit of alcohol on the different categories of alcohol products subject to VAT. [26227/05]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
 Mr. Cowen:I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the position is as set out in the following table which shows the comparative incidence of excise duty — alcohol products tax — per degree of alcohol contained in the main types of alcoholic beverage, taking products of typical strength within each category.
Spirits and beer are charged on the basis of their alcohol content — per degree of alcohol. The other products are charged on a volume basis, that is, the same rate, per hectolitre of product, is applied to products within certain bands of strength. A schedule of current rates has been forwarded to the Deputy.
The VAT rating of goods and services is subject to the requirements of EU VAT law with which Irish VAT law must comply. The EU Sixth VAT Directive requires the supply of alcohol to be subject to the standard rate of VAT, which in Ireland is set at 21%.
Mr. Naughten Mr. Naughten
290. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Finance the steps he intends to take to address the cost of fuel for the licensed haulage industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26276/05]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
 Mr. Cowen:Fuel prices are driven by a number of factors, including the price of oil on international markets, exchange rates, production costs and refining costs. The rise in oil prices over recent periods reflected additional factors such as geopolitical uncertainty, supply disruptions and strong economic growth in catch-up countries such as China. Mineral oil taxes are a factor influencing fuel prices.
As the Deputy will be aware, changes in taxation are made in the context of the annual budget and, accordingly, any requests made regarding changes in tax rates are considered in the period leading up to the budget. The Deputy will appreciate that it is neither practical nor prudent to adjust tax rates between budgets. However, it should be noted that Ireland’s mineral oil tax on petrol and diesel is below that of our main EU trading partners and, as the Deputy may be aware, I did not increase taxation on motor fuels of any description in last year’s budget.
A submission has been made to me in this connection on behalf of the licensed haulage industry by the Irish Road Haulage Association and officials of my Department met representatives of that association recently. The proposals made in its submission, which were elaborated on at the aforementioned meeting, will be examined in the context of the forthcoming budget.
Dáil Éireann 606 Written Answers. Tax Code.