Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke TD this afternoon reacted to the news that the carbon tax is to be hiked by almost 30%.
The Meath East TD said the carbon tax increase is a lazy cop-out, as the government are content on targeting ordinary people instead of tackling big polluters.
Teachta O’Rourke said: “Without affordable alternatives, a carbon tax won’t save the planet and won’t reduce our emissions.
“The Green Party can dress this unfair tax increase up however they want, but the truth is it is a brutal, punitive tax that will impact those who can least afford it.
“It applies to all the things people can’t do without. Petrol to get them to work. Gas to cook their dinner and home heating oil to keep them warm.
“The 29% increase announced is inherently unfair, as the richer you are, the easier this tax is to avoid.
“If you have the money you can buy an electric car, install a fleet of solar panels on your roof and retrofit your home, avoiding the tax increase in all these areas.
“If you don’t have the money to do these things, you’ll have less money to do them now, as you’ll be spending more on keeping your home warm and trying to run your car.
“With these brutal increases planned for the next ten budgets, how on earth is the Green Party expecting people to also afford to transition to greener alternatives?
“The Minister today said they have increased the fuel allowance to balance out the massive 29% hike.
“What good is this to the millions of people who are not entitled to the fuel allowance, but are just about getting by?
“It’s the same old story, those who earn too much to get state support but too little to make ends meet, are left out in the cold once again.
“It’s a lazy cop-out. Instead of targeting big polluters and those doing the most damage to our environment, the government are content on hammering ordinary citizens who are just trying to get by.”