A motion brought to Dáil Éireann by the Rural Independent Group has failed to “axe to the carbon tax”, after failing to secure the support of Government TDs.
The motion, proposed by Independent TD Michael Collins, had noted that “the carbon tax is a central contributing factor to Ireland's record cost of living increases, with the tax increasing the direct costs of everything from food and fuel to other goods and services”.
Deputy Collins said that the carbon tax places €521 in extra costs on to running a household, with a further €600 added to the cost of farming.
An amendment put forward by Government TDs changed the motion to reflect the view that “the carbon tax is not behind the current spike in energy prices”, as the annual rate of consumer price inflation across all consumer goods was up.
“The key driver of this increase is increases in wholesale energy prices as a result of the rapid rebound in global demand and, more recently, the war in Ukraine,” noted the Government amendment.
The resulting votes found that the amendment was carried and that no change to the rate of carbon taxes were passed.
Sinn Féin support
Sinn Féin challenged Green Party Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan on recent suggestions that the cutting of turf may be restricted from September of this year.
The Dáil was told by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty TD during this exchange that 4% of households across the State are reliant on turf as their primary heating source, with this figure rising to 9% in rural communities.
These communities need to be supported
However, some counties are dependent on turf for heating more than 30% of homes, said Doherty.
“These communities need to be supported instead of facing the punishment that you are dishing out when there is no realistic alternative for them to heat their home, to keep their families warm,” stated Deputy Doherty.
“Last night, your Government rejected a Sinn Féin motion which would have given real relief to households,” he claimed.
Sinn Féin had supported the Rural Independents' motion, with Minister Ryan stating that this support represented a policy shift by Sinn Féin on the matter.
Minister Ryan claimed that Sinn Féin had changed its policy on the carbon tax ahead of Wednesday’s motion proposed by the Rural Independent Group.
Where Sinn Féin had previously stated it was opposed to increases in the rate of the tax, the party now wanted to “scrap it altogether”, he said.
“What number of deaths should we tolerate?” Minister Ryan asked Deputy Doherty in the Dáil debate.
“This Government will act to deliver practical measures that are not there to punish anyone,” he said.