Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture Matt Carthy has called on the government to scrap planned increases in the carbon tax due in Budget 2022.

“Workers and families across Ireland are facing a cost of living crisis. The carbon tax is adding to that,” deputy Carthy said.

“The tax, lauded as an incentive for people to reduce carbon emissions, fails to recognise that most of those impacted have no credible alternative to their current car or heating system.  

“The carbon tax is simply a charge for them going about their daily business.

“In most parts of Ireland workers and families do not have access to a public transport system. But they will see costs of motor fuel rise further by as much as €1.50/tank.”

Cold houses

The deputy said that recently-announced gas and electricity bill hikes have been “a huge blow to those already struggling to make ends meet”.

“The government plans to respond by increasing their gas costs by another €13 per bill because of the carbon tax alone,” the deputy said.

“On top of this, the price of a 900L tank of kerosene will rise by nearly €20 per tank.

“Coal and briquettes will see rises of €0.89 and €0.20 per bag or bale. People will be cold in their houses just so government TDs can sit in their warm offices and believe that they are tackling the climate crisis.”

Deputy Carthy added that farmers will be “doubly hit as the carbon tax, from which farm contractors are not exempt, will see their costs rise for almost all contracted activities”.

Government ‘must scrap’ carbon tax increase

“In fact, the carbon tax hike will impact on the costs of goods for every household and business as prices for hauled produce will soar further,” the Cavan-Monaghan TD added.

“And the worst part is that increase will have absolutely no impact on carbon emissions.

“The minimal response by government which is centred on the fuel allowance shows how out of touch this government is. 

“The fuel allowance doesn’t come close to the costs of heating for those who are eligible. 

“Most workers and families don’t qualify anyway and they are expected to face additional charges coming directly from government at a time when they are already stretched by over-priced rents, mortgages, childcare, insurance and utility costs.

“Government must scrap the proposed increase ahead of the budget.”