Carthy expresses disappointment as government vote down amendments to reduce cost of fuel/ heating oil
In the first vote following the announcement of Budget 2023 Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, moved amendments to the Financial resolutions which would, if passed, have reduced the cost of petrol, diesel and home heating oil.
Moving the amendments on the night of the Budget, Deputy Carthy told the Dáil:
“I have to say that the commentary during today’s budget that probably caused workers to shake their heads today more than any other was that of the Minister Donohoe announcing that the carbon price hike of next month was to proceed as planned. He placed a caveat on that by indicating that what Peter gives Paul will take away and that the other element of excise duty will reduce by a proportionate amount.
“I do not know if the Minister or the Government realise it, but fuel prices are still a significant factor in the lives of those families that are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Many people still do not have any alternative option but to use their cars to drive to work, drop their children to activities or engage in their daily business. Public transport options are not there, they do not have any prospect of being able to afford an electric vehicle. Yet the Government has not provided the level of support that is warranted to those workers and families at any point.
“The measures the Government has introduced have been far too slowly introduced and they have been countered by the Government proceeding, against all logic, with carbon tax hikes. The Sinn Féin amendments will provide an opportunity for members of the Government, particularly for the backbench Deputies who have indicated that they recognise that the cost of petrol and diesel is still too high. They can support our amendments which would see a further decrease of in and around 2 cent per litre on both petrol and diesel.
“Amendment No. 3 represents another opportunity for Members of Government to recognise that a huge proportion of our population, particularly those who live outside of our main urban centres, are reliant on home heating oil in order to heat their homes.
“Throughout this cost-of-living emergency, the Government has provided precisely zero supports to families who are in that position. Once again Sinn Féin will move an amendment to remove excise duty in its entirety from home heating oil during this crisis period. It would save the average family about €120 per tank, a support they desperately need.
“My appeal to Members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party is to finally realise the pressures people are under with fuel and energy costs. Support our amendments to further the reduce the cost of petrol and diesel and to finally bring in a measure on home heating oil”.
Government moved a counter-motion which annulled the Sinn Féin amendments. That motion was adopted by 85 votes to 67 with the support of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent TDs failing to support the reductions in fuel and home heating oil as advocated by Deputy Carthy and Sinn Féin.