Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD has warned that any attempts by government to introduce water charges, or similarly regressive taxation measures, will be roundly rejected once again by Irish communities.
Teachta Carthy was speaking in response to the publication of an OECD report on Ireland that made recommendations varying from re-visiting water charges and introducing congestion charges, to removing VAT exemptions on farming products.
The Cavan/Monaghan TD said:
“Attempts to equate climate action with stealth taxes on ordinary workers and families are becoming all too common.
“We know that the instinct of government parties in wholly in line with the proposals in this OECD report. But any attempt on their part to penalise households with stealth taxes or water charges will again meet huge resistance from communities across the country.
“Many people will be concerned by this report precisely because the approach to climate action has, in all too many cases, simply meant additional charges on families that are already struggling.
“Just over a week ago the latest increase in carbon tax took affect – further penalising families, businesses, farmers and motorists who have no alternatives.
“The OECD report also proposes increases in the costs of farming products. This would ensure that farms that are already stretched to the limit will be forced of the land, and ensure that sustainable Irish product is replaced by intensive produce from the other side of the globe.
“None of this will deliver for the environment. For too long Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Green Party, the Labour party and others have believed they can tax their way out of the climate crisis. They can’t. The Irish people are at their limits.
“It’s time for real climate action that tackles corporate polluters; not tokenistic measures that punish ordinary families, workers, businesses and farmers”.