Hauliers are to be given more time to apply for an emergency support scheme put in place by the Government to assist them with the soaring cost of fuel.

Those who have not yet applied for the assistance will now have until 6 June to lodge their completed applications.

Under the Licensed Haulage Emergency Support Scheme, a payment of €100 per week is available for eight weeks for every heavy goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes that was listed on a road haulage operator's licence on 11 March.

So far, over €13m has been provided to over 2,800 operators.

"We know, however, that a significant number have not yet applied for the scheme," said Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

"We have extended the application period so that we can make every effort to contact these operators to allow them more time to apply."

Minister of State with special responsibility for haulage and logistics Hildegarde Naughton estimated that there are around 900 licensed haulage operators who have not yet applied for the scheme.

"My officials in the Department of Transport will now write to each operator at their registered address in order to afford them a final opportunity to make an application - the closing date for receipt of completed applications is therefore extended to the 6th of June 2022," she said.

The measure was one of a number announced by the Government in recent months to ease the burden of rising fuel prices in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A Diesel Rebate Scheme is also available to licensed haulage while excise duty was reduced by 20 cent on petrol and 15 cent on diesel for all citizens and businesses. This has recently been extended out to Budget day.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Fuels for Ireland has said the Government's fuel excise cut was neutralised the same day it was implemented, as it came in at a time when diesel was already rising on the wholesale market.

Kevin McPartland, speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne programme, outlined why consumers at some petrol stations around the country now face paying €2 per litre of diesel, despite excise cuts last month.

Diesel had already risen 22 cent per litre on the wholesale market at the time the cut was being implemented, and so on the day the reduction was implemented, it was "already neutralised", Mr McPartland said.

Since that time, he said, the situation in Ukraine has put greater pressure on European energy suppliers.

Prices per barrel, he said, had gone up "very significantly" since March, adding that wholesale prices would continue to rise steadily.

Independent TD for Wexford Verona Murphy said she was disappointed that the narrative had moved away from the Government having done everything that they can, which she said was not true.

There is "no will in Government to do more", she said. "In the morning, the Government could reduce the price of fuel by 15 cent a litre" by taking VAT off the excise costs, she added.

Asked what an acceptable price would be for a litre of petrol, Ms Murphy said €1 a litre.

"Fuel is the very commodity that effects everything, whether it's the food you put in your mouth, the shoes on your feet or clothes on your back, and inflation effects the cost of fuel. If we want to reduce the cost of living we have to tackle the cost of fuel. It's the only way," she stated.