Sinn Féin have announced the party will bring forward a motion in the Dáil next week to scrap the upcoming ban on selling turf.
The ban is due to come into effect from this September and would hit rural communities with no other heating options.
Speaking today as she announced the motion, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection and Rural Development Claire Kerrane TD said:
“Next week Sinn Féin will bring forward a motion in the Dáil to end the planned ban on selling turf. This ban is unfair, unworkable and will punish rural communities with no other heating options.
“There is a cost of living crisis across the country, as energy bills have sky-rocketed and put real pressure on people’s pockets. Turf has been one of the only forms of heating not to see prices spiral in recent months. The Government’s proposed plan punishes communities who rely on turf, instead of introducing measures to support communities in transitioning away from this form of heating in a way that is fair and sustainable.
“This proposed ban on the sale of turf is unfair, unworkable and must not go ahead. Our motion would end this unfair ban and ensure rural communities are treated fairly. I am calling on all TDs to back our motion next week.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, said:
“The turf ban is the wrong measure at the wrong time and will only harm ordinary families. Climate action and public health measures are vitally important and it is crucial that the government puts in place workable solutions that can bring communities along, not alienate and punish people.
“While we recognise that it is not possible for the government to fully protect all households from every price increase, the measures announced by government to date do not go anywhere near enough in supporting families and workers, particularly in rural areas, at this difficult time.
“The timing and introduction of this turf ban could not be worse, considering the extent of the cost of living, fuel and energy crisis. Some government TDs have created confusion on this issue by giving mixed messages on whether this ban will go ahead as planned in September. The government cannot talk out of both sides of its mouth on this. Rural communities need clarity and this motion will give them that clarity.
“The planned ban on selling turf is yet another sign of how out of touch this government is and how they are failing rural communities. I am urging all TDs to back our motion next week and stand up for rural communities.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, said:
“4% of households depend on peat as the main energy source to heat their homes, rising to 9% of rural households. These communities should be supported in transitioning away from turf in a fair way, instead of facing punishment when they have no realistic alternative ways of heating their homes.
“Climate action is absolutely crucial and must be a priority, however it is not fair or workable to introduce these heavy-handed and poorly thought out measures when people have no other options. I am concerned that the proposed turf ban will hit rural communities, especially older people and households with low incomes, the hardest. The government cannot abandon communities who are already at risk of fuel poverty.
“This is unfair and must be stopped. I am urging TDs across the Dáil to back our motion next week and take a stand for rural communities and fair action on climate and public health.”
The motion is available to view here. It will be debated in the Dáil at 17:40 on Tuesday 26th April