It is expected that a proposal will go before the Dáil tomorrow that will cut fuel costs through a reduction in excise duties.

The changes would then take affect from midnight if as expected the Dáil passes the Financial resolution.

Work is ongoing at the Department of Finance tonight on proposals to decrease the amount of excise duties on fuel.

Discussions in the Department are looking at an excise duty cut of between 15 to 20 cent per litre of diesel and petrol.

Agricultural diesel, which has a lower rate of excise duty, could be cut by a smaller figure but the "ratio" of the reduction would be the same.

European Commission proposals on the issue are being assessed but the Government does not need the Commission's agreement to make changes.

An incorporeal cabinet meeting will be held in the morning to sign off on the measures which will be put forward by Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Sinn Féin has called for measures that would result in a 25 cent cut per litre of diesel and petrol.

The party also wants any cuts pegged at €1.75 per litre to ensure the reductions are not quickly eroded.

Earlier the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan warned though that any changes would "not cushion the full blow".

He said the scale of the increase in gas and heating oil and coal prices is beyond precedent.

The Minister added that Government must help consumers who will be hard hit and is now agreeing the final detail.

Also today, Sinn Féin called for measures that would result in a 25 cent cut per litre of diesel and petrol.

Pressure has been growing on the Government to take steps that would offset some of the increases in oil and gas costs seen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

Speaking in the Dáil earlier, the Taoiseach said the "war on Ukraine" has escalated fuel price increases which are not sustainable for people.

He said that Government is also very actively considering the matter.

"We will have to look outside the norm, outside the box, in dealing with the crisis," he said.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the price of petrol at the pumps has gone up by 70 cent per litre since January 2021, while the price of home heating oil has doubled in the same period.

"These fuel hikes are not sustainable for any individual, family or indeed any small business," she said.

People are now having to decide which bill will go unpaid every week and this is no way to live "any kind of decent life," she told the Dáil.

Freight transporters have joined calls for Government action.

The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) said excise duty must be reduced with the rate of reduction linked with the international pricing of a barrel of oil.

"With fuel accounting for more than 41% of the cost of running articulated lorry fleets - and the price of a barrel of oil now breaching $120 - the government must take urgent action to protect Ireland's supply chain," said Aidan Flynn, CEO of FTAI.

"FTAI is urging the Government to review its current diesel rebate programme to make it more accessible and efficient so that the inflationary pressures on the industry charged with delivering everything Ireland needs can be alleviated."

Less than a third of haulage operators are participants in the scheme, which the FTAI claims shows it is not effective.

"Furthermore, commercial fleet operators that distribute their own goods are responsible for the majority of retail and food services distribution, and yet do not qualify for the current diesel rebate scheme; compressed natural gas (CNG) is also excluded," said Mr Flynn.

Yesterday the Irish Road Haulage Association met with the Minister for Finance and outlined the need for urgent action to assist their members with the untenable increases in fuel prices.

Oil prices hit a 14 year high of $139 a barrel yesterday and while they have since eased a little, they remain around $130.

Traders are concerned about the impact a US ban on Russian oil imports might have on the market.

Here, the price of petrol and diesel at the forecourt pumps has been rising in recent days, hitting and surpassing €2 a litre in some cases.

The FTAI, whose members operate around 10,000 vehicles and employ over 25,000 staff, warned that without action from the Government, Irish businesses may not be able to remain viable or competitive.

Additional reporting by Will Goodbody