Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan has called on Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to introduce a fuel subsidy for the fishing sector
Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to introduce a fuel subsidy to address the spiralling fuel costs squeezing the nation’s fishing industry.
The fishing industry in Ireland has been calling on the Minister to provide aid, after the European Commission allowed for a derogation in fuel subsidies in order to reduce costs for the EU fishing fleet. So far, Spain and France have granted their fishermen fuel relief, but Minister McConalogue has so far refused to grant any such relief to his own fishermen. This has led to calls that the Minister discriminating against his fellow countrymen by stacking the deck in favour of other EU member states.
Fellow Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan asked the Minister whether any supports were forthcoming in the Dail on Tuesday 25 October:
“Energy costs are spiralling, diesel costs are spiralling through the roof. I was presented with an invoice the other day of over €5000 for diesel costs.”
“I would also like to see, if there is a fuel subsidy, that it be extended to the inshore sector as well for those smaller outboard engines.”
To which McConalogue answered that he is reassessing the situation in light of rising prices and looking at what additional supports might be available. He replied:
“Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan asked about support for the fisheries sector to deal with the increase in price of fuel. It is something he has been raising with me and keeping on the agenda. I did step in and put in place an extra month of a tie-up option being available, which invested €12 million specifically to support the sector to deal with the fuel crisis at the request of the fisher representatives themselves. That runs up to the end of November. It started in June. I have been monitoring prices very closely. They have increased again in the past two or three weeks. I met fishing representatives last week and am meeting again fishing co-ops this afternoon. I am reassessing the situation and will be looking at what additional support may be necessary there.”