Government completely out of touch on carbon tax – Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that the agreement between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Green Party to impose a carbon tax hike shows how out of touch the parties are with ordinary families struggling with the cost of living.
The Midlands Northwest MEP said: “Families are struggling across the state with the rising cost of living and already very high energy costs. There are 15 per cent of people on incomes below the poverty line and these are the people who will be hit hardest by a hike in the carbon tax.
“This is a regressive consumption tax that will disproportionately harm those on lower incomes. While Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour, and the Green Party may believe that ordinary working people and families shoulder the burden while industry polluters continue to pump millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, Sinn Féin hold that a fair, green alternative is possible.
“The carbon tax is not only unfair; it is also going to fail because unless you put in place measures to give families the alternatives such as major new investment in public transport, for example, a carbon tax will not change behaviour and is just a punitive tax. It should absolutely be opposed.
“Carbon taxes are ineffective at reducing emissions, and the international evidence in conclusive on this fact. Emissions have continued to rise. Last year saw an EU record high in emissions. It merely provides the illusion of doing something.
“We need to discuss the idea of a wealth tax for wealthy individuals and corporations. A wealth tax along this line could then be ringfenced to invest in real climate action measures, such as a major expansion of public transport, the retrofitting of houses, and developing green infrastructure across our Island.
“We want to make it very clear we will not support such a tax. The way to fight climate change is not by penalising ordinary families and working people.” ENDS