Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government to guarantee that citizens will not be made pay for the development of a new biogas sector, either through a direct charge or an indirect charge through fuel suppliers.

“We support the decarbonisation of the energy system. Biogas an anaerobic digestion should play a significant role in that decarbonisation, and it can play a role in increasing farm incomes,” Tóibín said.

“However, in the jaws of a cost-of-living crisis, the government cannot hit hard-pressed consumers who are already struggling to fuel their cars and their homes.

“A raft of parliamentary questions that Aontú has submitted has shown that the government is already making more in VAT, excise and carbon taxes on fuel than ever before,” he added.

“This is astounding. The government [is] creaming it to the tune of billions of euro on fuel tax at a time when so many citizens are going into debt and overdraft just to stay afloat.”

Animal rights groups
Aontú leader, Peadar Tóibín

Rising energy costs and other bills

Tóibín outlined that rates of excise duty went up in June 2023 and are due to go up again on September 1.

He added that Carbon Tax will go up again in October and road tolls, which were just increased in July, will go up again in January.

“Rich ministers seem oblivious to the daily financial battle of ordinary families to make ends meet,” he said.

“Ireland is a radical outlier in terms of the shocking cost of energy. Electricity prices are nearly double the European average. None of this is by accident.

“The government for ideological reasons [is] pushing energy costs up. They know that high prices reduce demand for fuel.

“The dangerous truth for many families is there is no alternative in terms of reducing dependence on fossil fuel,” Tóibín added.

The Aontú leader stated that there is not enough public transport and little capacity for deep retrofitting at the moment.

“Electric cars are too dear for many. Most people cannot manage the cost of a solar array,” he added.

“For a government that is already taking in so much tax on fuel, to consider loading the cost of the biogas sector on consumers by estimated increases as high as 10% is wrong. What we need now is energy cost reductions.”