A group of TDs is renewing calls for the carbon tax to be scrapped or suspended due to rocketing fuel prices.

Speaking from Leinster House today, the Rural Independent Group of TDs said the current energy cost inflation and energy taxes “are making heating a home; running a car; or operating a farm, transport or small business completely unaffordable”.

“While supply chain concerns caused by Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine have augmented the problems, it is in fact this government’s energy policies and crippling carbon tax that are the key drivers of skyrocketing fuel and energy prices,” the group claimed.

“Incredibly, since [this government] took office, the carbon tax has jumped from €26/t to €41.50/t. But in the next seven months [the government] will hike the tax higher to €48.50/t. This means that in just over two years, they will have increased the carbon tax burden on everyone by a staggering 86%.”

The TDs are calling on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to “end or suspend” the tax, “given the enormous economic upheaval that it is causing to ordinary people”.

“Unlike the situation in Ukraine, it is entirely within the government’s control to reduce, suspend or end the carbon tax now,” the group highlighted.

“Any government that would continue with a fanatical carbon tax, in the midst of a global energy crisis, is deranged and completely out of touch,” said Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, the group’s representative.

“To compound matters, this government’s maniacal plan is to continue increasing this tax every year to 2030, when they will charge €100 for every tonne of carbon. The economic pain of this will be catastrophic.”

“The [Covid-19] pandemic has been an economic tidal wave for residents and small businesses across Ireland. Now, many people are forced into making choices between filling their car with fuel and paying their home heating bill or paying rent or buying groceries,” McGrath added.

He continued: “Ordinary families and all rural residents are carbon tax losers and are carrying the brunt of the government’s mad agenda of keeping the ideology of the Green Party on-side.

“We once again plead with the government to hold a justifiable mini budget; cancel the carbon tax; and slash all fuel, electric and home heating taxes, such as excise and VAT. The government’s ongoing plan of raking in bumper energy tax receipts, while taxing people out of existence, is unjust and deeply hurtful,” McGrath commented.