Diesel laundering is costing the state around €160m a year, leading for calls to substitute a rebate system for the current use of green dye in subsidised agricultural diesel, The Sunday Business Post reports.
It is believed between 12% and 14% of all diesel used on Irish roads is washed.
“The government could land a massive windfall by abandoning subsidised agricultural diesel entirely, but such a move is likely to be strongly resisted by the agricultural lobby and farmers around the country,” writes the newspaper’s deputy editor, Richard Curran.
Subsidised agricultural diesel currently costs the exchequer €460m per year. However, the proposal by the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) is being backed by the Irish Farmers Association and the group representing agricultural contractors, large-volume users of subsidised green fuel.
The association says Belgium, France and Spain all operate haulage rebates for trucking companies, making their diesel around 8c to 10c a litre cheaper than in Ireland.
“At present, around 2,000 HGV trucks are travelling overseas every week. More and more of them are filling up abroad with a huge loss of revenue for the Irish exchequer,” said IRHA president Eoin Gavin, who estimates the figure could be as high as €300m a year.
An IRHA study conducted by Deloitte found a 10c rebate would cost the state €90m, but it stood to gain €300m on fill-ups that are currently taking place abroad.