Retailers who have fuel pumps will be very aware of horrendous levels of abuse they received subsequent to the decision of the Government to reduce some of the excise content of both petrol(20c) and derv (15c).
They were so intent on getting the “good” news out that they failed, spectacularly, to have any level of care or concern to those retailers who had collectively millions of litres of fuels in their tanks that could not be sold at a price that would have been enormously below cost and would have visited ruination on many small businesses.
For many days these retailers and their staff were subjected to unprecedented abuse and accusations of extortion, collusion and illegal behaviour were entertained in all quarters of the media, in addition to every form of “Social” Media.
We were very pleased to note the publication of the CCPC report into these allegations (see report here) and a brief overview of the report from RTE (see here) ; the retailers were found NOT to have collaborated or colluded, were perfectly justified to sell through their existing stock and the blame was levelled at the total lack of communication by the State to the fuel-purchasing public that the decrease would not be instant.
We made our views known to CCPC and the Departments of both Finance and Enterprise at the time and have once more written to them today following the publication seeking assurances that there will never be a repeat of the most upsetting, and unavoidable debacle.