The skyrocketing increase in energy prices is forcing small business owners in Northern Ireland to look outside the province for fuel sourcing with close to 66% purchasing fuel from other than Northern Ireland. As fuel prices increase dramatically in March the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) polled its members.
Their research found that over 34% buy fuel at least once a month outside the province while the same percentage say they have never purchased fuel outside of Northern Ireland. FSB’s Roger Pollen said many owners were forced by the increasing fuel costs to seek many different measures to lower their fuel bills.
The incredibly high fuel prices for both diesel and petrol are also impacting the consumer’s confidence said Pollen. They also affect the profitability thus there is no surprise that many are leaving Northern Ireland to purchase cheaper fuel.
Members of the FSB have lowered their fuel usage with 52% reducing the amount of travel, 14% changing their vehicles out for ones that are more fuel efficient and 23% are adopting more fuel efficient techniques in driving. A fuel duty stabilizer is being requested. That would ensure automatic freezes on fuel-duty increases and in case of VAT increases would lower the duty accordingly.