‘Farmers get no money from carbon tax in agri-sector’ – Naughten

Independent TD Denis Naughten has said that carbon tax funding acquired from the agriculture sector, is not reinvested in the sector.

The Roscommon-Galway TD is leading the charge calling for the agri-sector to be exempt from increases in carbon taxes.

He said he has obtained an admission from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, that the only money going back into the sector from carbon taxes is €3 million in ‘recycled’ money from last year’s budget.

Deputy Naughten stated: “Farmers will pay in the region of €27 million in carbon taxes in 2021 but not one cent of these taxes will go back into the agriculture sector to help reduce its emissions or address the impact of these taxes.

This approach goes against the stated policy of the current government on carbon taxes that the funds are to be ringfenced and reinvested in measures to reduce carbon emissions.

“As the farming community does not have an alternative to avoid carbon taxes, and because government is not putting any of those taxes back into the sector to reduce carbon emissions, then the agri-sector should not be liable to pay these taxes,” the deputy said.

Carbon Tax in Budget 2021

AgriLand previous reported that a total of €20 million in revenue arising from carbon taxes is being allocated for “pilot environmental programmes in agriculture” next year in Budget 2021.

In a Budget 2021 document entitled “The Use of Carbon Tax Funds 2021”, a breakdown of allocations was provided.

However, Deputy Naughten said:

What is hugely frustrating is the fact that people are very quick to blame agriculture for carbon emissions and to tax the sector, yet we see little movement in having such taxes reinvested in agriculture.

Deputy Naughten has said he was the lone opposition at the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday (Tuesday, November 17) to the imposition of an annual increase of carbon tax over the next decade, which will he said see farmers pay €80 million a year towards carbon tax within the agri-sector.