The price of petrol and diesel fuel has increased by 27pc and 28pc respectively in a year, writes Brian Byrne.

These are represented by average prices of 172.6c and 163.3c per litre.

AA Ireland, which monitors fuel prices in Ireland, says the impact is being especially felt by lower-income families in rural Ireland, who can’t avail of the public transport that their urban equivalents have.

Noting that the high price is due to a combination of factors, including the rise in the price of crude oil from historically low levels last summer, AA Ireland says two-thirds of the price is tax.

The other factor impacting  families with traditional oil-fired heating systems which has also seen similar price rises and as we move

into the winter months.

Last year a fill of 500 litres was €320.00 today the same fill is €460-465 which is over 37% and will be harder felt by the lower-income families.