IRHA president Eoin Gavin said the department had agreed at a meeting with the hauliers that the current price of fuel was unsustainable.
“They acknowledged that the current situation with the cost of fuel is unsustainable,” said Mr Gavin.
He said the Government was against introducing a flat tax rebate to all users but that they had been open to the idea of a cost-neutral scheme that would encourage drivers to fill their trucks from reputable sources in Ireland.
He said a working group set up by Finance Minister Michael Noonan to look into the effect of the increase of fuel prices on hauliers had agreed with the IRHA’s costing of a fuel rebate.
The IRHA has presented research to the working group showing that a 15c per litre fuel rebate would cost the exchequer nothing. The IRHA put a figure of €90m on tax lost due to the rebate, but said the Revenue Commissioners would earn €130m in extra tax from hauliers filling their tanks in Ireland rather than abroad.
Mr Gavin also said that the introduction of an essential users rebate would also cut down on the use of illegal laundered fuel by hauliers who are being forced out of business by the cost of fuel.
“A 15c rebate would disincentive the haulers who feel they have no choice but to use illegal fuel in order to avoid going out of business. We believe that 20% of haulers are using illegal diesel,” he said.
Mr Gavin also said that the introduction of the fuel rebate would help combat inflation.
He said there was no alternative to trucks for moving goods around Ireland due to the poor rail network. He added that if the price of fuel continued to increase the price of all goods would also rise.