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IPRA welcomes Budget 2019

9th October 2018
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The Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) has welcomed the news today in Budget 2019 that there is to be no increase in carbon tax or fuel duties.

IPRA has been proactive in the run up to the Budget 2019 meeting, writing to the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, to advise him against increasing tax or fuel duties.

David Blevings, IPRA spokesperson said, “Government indicated at a recent Project 2040 event that they proposed to part-fund public transport and energy efficiency with an increase in the cost of petrol, diesel, home heating oil, gas and briquettes. While the promotion of public transport and energy efficiency are very positive and pragmatic issues for the consumer, cost effective day to day mobility, especially for rural dwellers is probably a more practical issue in Ireland today.

We are glad to see that common sense has prevailed and motorists will welcome and benefit from this decision”, added David.

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Oil Prices higher on Iran sanctions fear

3rd October 2018
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David Blevings, IPRA spokesman said, “We are seeing pressure again on global oil prices due to a number of factors; the recent fallout at the OPEC meeting over attempts to increase supply, increased demand for oil and the prospect of US sanctions on Iran which come into play next month. The concern is that OPEC and non OPEC countries may not be able to pick up the slack from the ‘lost’ Iranian supply. All of these factors continue to push the price of oil upwards with crude recently passing the £80/barrel mark which unfortunately has resulted in recent hefty increases at the pumps”.

Looking ahead to the Budget we note that at the recent Project 2040 event Government representatives said they will part-fund public transport and energy efficiency under the National Development Plan with an increase in the cost of petrol, diesel, home heating oil, gas and briquettes. Minister Naughten went further in a recent article and claimed that oil should be priced out of the market by 2030 to encourage people to adopt electric vehicles and energy efficiency suggesting a barrel price of €200/barrel as a baseline.

IPRA has urged the Minister not to raise duty rates in road fuels this year due to the current high cost of oil as any increase could offset the local economic recovery which is well underway and penalise rural car users.

“The recent increase at the pumps is unwelcome news for consumers and retailers who have no choice but to pass on increases in their wholesale costs. There is speculation that we could see further increases and claims of $100/barrel by the end of the year look unfortunately more realistic than we would like but the US has indicated that they may release some of their strategic oil reserves if oil peaks at $100/barrel which may see prices reducing in the medium term”, added David.

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IPRA comments on oil passing $80/barrel mark….

24th September 2018
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David Blevings, IPRA spokesman said, “We are seeing pressure again on global oil prices due to a number of factors; the recent fallout at the OPEC meeting over attempts to increase supply, increased demand for oil and the continued aggression in the Middle East all continue to push the price of oil upwards with crude recently passing the £80/barrel mark.

Looking ahead to the Budget we note that at the recent Project 2040 event Government representatives said they will part-fund public transport and energy efficiency under the National Development Plan with an increase in the cost of petrol, diesel, home heating oil, gas and briquettes. IPRA has urged the Minister not to raise duty rates in road fuels this year due to the current high cost of oil as any increase could offset the local economic recovery which is well underway”.

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Close unauthorised car washes to save water says ICWA

29th June 2018
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The Irish Car Wash Association (ICWA) has questioned why Government and Irish Water have not taken action against unauthorised car washes following the recent exceptional dry spell and the prospect of water bans across the country.

The recently formed industry body that spawned out of the Irish Petrol Retailers Association represents petrol retailers operating car washes in Ireland.

Spokesperson David Blevings said, “We are well aware of the need to conserve water given the current conditions but why has Irish Water and Government not done more to tackle the unauthorised car wash industry in this country. A report commissioned in 2004 estimated that there are up to 3000 unregulated washes throughout the country and with each wash using up to 150 litres for every wash, an unregulated wash can easily exceed 1.5M litres of water per annum.

Our Members cannot compete with operators who are not meeting the same requirements as them and set up on derelict sites/car parks/roadside verges and offer the same service (at a knock down price). Many have no valid planning/waste disposal/insurance in place and in some cases, washes are known to use slave labour and allegedly do not have proper procedures in place for tax/VAT and PRSI payments”.

IPRA has lobbied the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment for a licensing scheme for local car washes but to no avail. Ironically, Revenue indicate they would support a licensing requirement but require a Government Minister to introduce it”.

ICWA says making licensing a legal requirement would ensure all car washes are registered, are using water correctly and disposing of effluent within current guidelines and more importantly, not wasting our valuable water resource.

“Rather than talk about introducing water bans that take seven days to notify consumers, Irish Water should take a long hard look at their current system as it would appear to ICWA that it is not fit for purpose and review how better they can work with local Councils, Revenue, EPA and other parties to ensure the car wash trade is compliant with current regulations, look to introduce incentives for rain water harvesting and encourage recycling to ensure the water is not wasted”, added David.

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Comment on oil prices for Irish Examiner

6th June 2018
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David Blevings, spokesperson for the Irish Petrol Retailers Association said, “Unfortunately the instability and concern around the Trump decision to withdraw from this deal has made traders nervous and is adding a premium to crude oil prices. In turn this is increasing the cost of wholesale fuel costs which has to be borne by retailers. We have seen an increase in local terms and this is unwelcome news for consumers and retailers who have no choice but to pass on increased costs. Remember almost 60% of the pump price is taken by the Government in duty/VAT and carbon tax and is out of the retailers or indeed, wholesalers control. We would advocate that the Government should have a ceiling price at which fuel duty is reduced when prices increase to assist consumers and businesses alike.

Speculation is we could see $80/barrel by the summer and with OPEC and non-OPEC countries threatening to further tighten supply, this could be a reality.  Of course this is good news for Saudi Arabia who are preparing to float Aramco. However, the oil nations need to play a balanced card as increasing prices too high will force more and more motorists around the world to switch over to electric vehicles reducing overall oil demand and there is talk that we may see increased production at the next OPEC meeting as prices are still stubbornly high.

The one bit of positive news is that as global oil prices rise, US shale production becomes more viable and we will see shale make an appearance to assist push prices back down.

Looking forward we see the tension in the Middle East reducing as discussions there reach a peaceful solution and American shale production ramps up pushing prices back to the $50-60/barrel range. We would be confident that prices will return to a more ‘normal’ level  by the end of the year”, added David.

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Oil prices up force retailers to increase road fuel costs

11th May 2018
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The recent declaration by President Trump that he will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has caused crude oil prices to increase to over $77/tonne, a figure last seen at the tail end of 2014.

David Blevings, spokesperson for the Irish Petrol Retailers Association said, “Unfortunately the instability and concern around the Trump decision to withdraw from this deal has made traders nervous and is adding a premium to crude oil prices. In turn this is increasing the cost of wholesale fuel costs which has to be borne by retailers. We are seeing a 1 – 2cpl increase in local terms and this is unwelcome news for consumers and retailers who have no choice but to pass on increased costs.

The speculation that we could see $80/barrel by the summer looks like it could be achieved but we are hopeful that there will be a peaceful solution to the Middle East issue and with American shale production ramping up we would like to see prices back to the $50-60/barrel range by the end of the year”, added David

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Oil price gain on Middle East concerns says IPRA

20th April 2018
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Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in local fuel prices. This is a result of inflated crude and wholesale fuel prices due to the current round of sabre rattling in the Middle East. Any sign of discontent in this region is usually bad news for oil prices as the threat of reduced supply spooks the market and pushes prices up.

Speculation is we could see $80/barrel by the summer and with OPEC and non-OPEC countries threatening to further tighten supply, this could be a reality.  Of course this is good news for Saudi Arabia who are preparing to float Aramco. However, the oil nations need to play a balanced card as increasing prices too high will force more and more motorists around the world to switch over to electric vehicles reducing overall oil demand.

The one bit of positive news is that as global oil prices rise, US shale production becomes more viable and we will see shale make an appearance to assist push prices back down.

Looking forward we see the tension in the Middle East reducing as discussions there reach a peaceful solution and American shale production ramps up pushing prices back to the $50-60/barrel range. We would be confident that prices will return to a more ‘normal’ level  by the end of the year.

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Another unauthorised car wash closed by planners

3rd January 2018
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IPRA has welcomed the actions of South Dublin Planning Authority as they close another unauthorised car wash in South Dublin.

The site was beside the Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre, Lucan and following an investigation by the Planning Authority and the service of an enforcement notice in October 2017, the wash and associated advertising have now been removed.

Another good result for the legitimate trade. If you are aware of unauthorised wash site near your station send details to office@ipra.ie

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Festive greetings from IPRA!

19th December 2017
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2017 was a very busy year for the IPRA and the organisation continues to grow from strength to strength.

Hopefully you have already received your hard copy of our New Forecourt News Magazine but if not please let us know and we will stick one in the post to you. This can also be viewed online if you click here (please feel free to distribute to anyone else you think may welcome a read). https://ipra.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ForecourtNewsDecember2017LR.pdf

  • This year has been an uphill battle dealing with Government policy, they seem to be oblivious to the needs of the small retailer. The proposed new Alcohol Bill (2015) is an example where the IPRA has been able to work with a number of other bodies to lobby for a more favourable outcome regarding the display of alcohol. A special thanks to IPRA member Declan Cronin for joining the IPRA in attending stakeholder discussions with the Department of Health. As always we will keep you updated on this important issue affecting your trade.
  • Another major issue has arisen due to the revaluation of businesses for rates – the IPRA has a barrister reviewing the legislation with a view to challenging this and will again keep you updated as this issue progresses. Remember, every county is being revalued so this issue impacts all station owners – even if you have not been revalued to date.
  • Our Forecourt Retail Exhibition in City West in September was opened by Minister for Transport Shane Ross and was a great success.  Our next Forecourt exhibition will be held on the 14th March 2019 at the same venue.
  • We also made representations to the Department of Finance against the much discussed proposal to increase the duty on Diesel road fuel and ran a successful petition (with the help of all member stores that participated) and were delighted to see our hard work pay off with the budget outcome.
  • We launched our new website in December and we continue to look to improve for ways to improve the user experience and we would welcome any comments/suggestions.
  • As part of our effort to protect your business and investment we will register all legal car washes on our new website www.irishcarwash.ie. We are looking to partner with the industry to weed out illegal car washes.

Any association is only as good as its members and we are privileged to represent retailers in every county in the Republic of Ireland. We welcome new members and we are asking existing members to nominate one potential fuel retailer to join the association.

If you know of a retailer you would like to nominate for membership, please send their details to office@ipra.ie  This will help us to continue to grow and support our industry.

If you have not already done so please check out our new website at www.ipra.ie and if you have any issues accessing pricing etc. please contact us straight away. We will continue to lobby on your behalf and if there are any issues that you need help on please do not hesitate to get in contact especially if there is anything for 2018 that you would like us to tackle.

Finally, the IPRA would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018.

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Proposal for separation of Alcohol in small & medium shops cause for grave concern says IPRA

28th November 2017
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IPRA is very concerned over the proposal for structural separation in retail forecourts per section 22 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015. We believe this is is anti competitive and will drive business to the Off Licences and the Large Multiples and will put small retailers offering alcohol out of business.

The proposed separation of the alcohol offering by a 7ft wall is not viable and will severely reduce available floor space in many retail garages where retail space is at a premium.

IPRA members are not against segregating the alcohol offering, but the structural separation is a step too far and is clearly anti-competitive and puts small, independent retailers at clear disadvantage to the larger retailers and off licences/supermarkets.

When the Law was introduced requiring retailers to place cigarettes out of sight, every business big or small had to comply – the requirement did not give an advantage to one retailer at the expense of another.

We would respectfully suggest a preferred option and possible solution is to have a clearly delineated alcohol area which can be accessed by a barrier/turnstile to make a clear obstacle for patrons – this is the solution that works in Northern Ireland (see photo above).

We have written today to all Members of the Health Committee and Dail Members.

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