“Crazy that government allowed Carbon Tax hike during Covid19 emergency” – Matt Carthy TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cavan Monaghan has described as “crazy” that the government facilitated an increase in the Carbon Tax at a time when households have seen their incomes collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Carthy said that low-income and rural households would be hit hardest by the tax which was increased last Friday.
Deputy Carthy said:
“Last Friday the Carbon Tax on solid fuels increased by 30 percent. That is a crazy situation considering so many families are under severe pressure as a result of the Covid-19 emergency. The Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, had previously written to Revenue calling for the planned increase in Carbon Tax to be deferred in light of the financial crisis which has hit workers and families across the State.
“Sinn Féin always opposed carbon tax hikes because we see them as an unfair burden on ordinary workers and families. In the last Dáil, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party agreed to the increases.
“Since then, an ESRI report assessing the financial impact a Carbon Tax on households has found that this tax increase will predominantly hit low-income and rural households.
“While this was the case in normal times, its effect is even greater now when so many have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many families will be hit hard by this tax. They cannot be expected to unfairly feel the brunt of government measures, especially at a time when so many of them are already struggling financially.
“This tax increase should have been deferred at least during the Coronavirus crisis. The fact that it wasn’t is a worrying indication of what is likely to come under a Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael government where neither party has learned the lessons from February’s General Election.
“The priorities in the months ahead must be protecting the incomes of households, and then preparing a recovery plan that transforms our economy and invests in green technologies and alternatives which will enable a just transition. Carbon taxes, which hit rural communities and low-income families are not the answer. Sinn Féin will continue to oppose them.”