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Market Insider – A two-day pause in sales has ended, as the Government has announced a one week ban on stamp duties, petrol prices and electricity tariff hikes.
The two-hour pause in stamp duty sales was announced by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.
“While I am very much concerned by the impact of this freeze on business and consumer confidence, I know that a one day pause in these measures is not the answer,” Mr Donohe said.
The freeze on all sales and increases in stamp duties were announced as the State Government looks to reduce the deficit by €1.5 billion this financial year.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the freeze on sales was to give a “good lead” in helping to balance the budget.
He said the Government is committed to “further lowering stamp duty and petrol prices”.
However, Mr Noonan also said the State was working on a range of measures, including introducing an extra 1.5 cents on all petrol prices.
Mr Noonan told reporters the State is also working on measures to ease restrictions on the availability of electricity in the State.
As a result of the decision, the Government will have to reduce stamp duty on petrol, diesel and petrol and diesel by 1 cent each, or the equivalent of 2.2 cents, from tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Mr Donahoe has confirmed the State will introduce a levy on diesel fuel next month.
However he has yet to announce a timetable for the introduction of the levy.
While Mr Noona has announced that the State would introduce a 1 cent diesel levy, the State’s Minister of Finance says the Government still plans to introduce a 0.5 cent levy in the coming months.
It is understood that the Government was expecting a 0:00pm to 1:00am cut in stamp Duty on diesel sales as a result.
Under the freeze, the tax on diesel will be cut by 2 cents from January 1.
In other business news, the Reserve Bank has cut its interest rate target to 0.25 per cent, the lowest in its history.
Its move comes as the Reserve bank was already forecasting the Reserve Fund will have enough reserves to cover its debt payments for at least the next three years.
Read more about the economy.