The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has criticised Fianna Fáil, after it called for a cut in petrol prices.

Fianna Fáil had called on the government to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel by four cent per litre.

 The government says our rates remain lower than many of our trading parties and significantly lower than the UK.

The cost of a litre of petrol has risen by 75% since its most recent low price point in 2009.

He said the party was reverting to wishful thinking and economic dreamland.

Mr. Noonan said that Fianna Fáil in Government made an agreement in Europe that Governments would not react to spikes in petrol prices by making temporary adjustments.

The party is to table a Private Members Motion in the Dáil this evening that it says would see a reduction in prices to motorists of about five cent per litre, once the VAT impact is taken into account.

The measure would cost the Exchequer around €145m in lost taxes.

"This would be substantially self-financing," Michael McGrath, TD, Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman said.

 "Because much of the money that people would save from this very modest reduction in the cost of fuel would be spent elsewhere in the economy, would circulate and would come back to the Exchequer." he added.

"There may be a marginal net cost to the Exchequer, but in the context of the overall achievement of public finance targets in 2012, we believe this is an example where government can show that their policies can lead to a reduction in prices."