Ag Minister should stand with farmers against Carbon Tax – Matt Carthy TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, to join the rising numbers calling for the pending increase in Carbon Tax to be ‘suspended, if not ceased altogether.’
After posing questions on the subject to the Minister last week, Deputy Carthy said that farmers had been warning of the implications of rising fertiliser prices and other input costs for months. These rising costs are impoverishing farmers and adding to the ongoing inflation crisis, he said.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Minister McConalogue’s refusal to stand against a further carbon tax hike is worrying – on the one hand he claims to understand the challenge of rising input costs, but on the other he is standing over government measures that will increase them further.
“Farmers cannot afford another Carbon Tax hike in May.
“Sinn Féin want the carbon tax hike to be abolished, but the refusal of the Minister for Agriculture to agree even to a postponement until the current inflation crisis has passed points to a politician that is out-of-touch.
“Like all others, farm families cannot bear increased heating costs at this time. The Carbon Tax impacts on farmers particularly as those who use contractors end up essentially paying in full despite exemptions. Farm contractors themselves are left with little choice but to pass this on to farmers who must bear it within their already tight margins.
“Consumers also end up also paying for them at the tills; on top of their already increased costs in motor fuel and heating.
“The Minister for Agriculture has a very important place in government – they are meant to be the voice for farmers and rural communities.
“If Minister McConalogue were to bring the real-life experiences of farmers to cabinet, I am confident we would achieve, at least the postponement of the pending increase – he should do just that.
“Equally, he must engage with his cabinet colleague in the Department of Finance and ensure that the promised review regarding farm contractors carbon tax obligations begins immediately.”