Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that Budget 2018 could have delivered on post offices, broadband and climate, but it has failed on all three.
Deputy Dooley challenged the Government and Minister Naughten after today’s Budget announcement that made no reference to post offices, delivered little resources for broadband and failed to deliver the step change needed to make the switch to electric cars.
“Minister Naughten should be disappointed by today’s Budget. His department has been left behind and ignored.
“The fact that the post office network wasn’t even mentioned is very concerning. Has the Government given up on attempting to revitalise this important piece of national infrastructure?
“Hundreds of post offices are set to close in the short to medium term. It’s clear now that the Government has given up on the survival of rural communities.
“The money assigned to broadband delivery will scarcely cover the consultants fees associated with the National Broadband Plan. It now seems clear that the Government do not intend to spend the money needed to start the physical rollout of quality broadband to the 542,000 households in rural Ireland in 2018.
“The Government today paid lip service to the need to support motorists to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“With little movement when it comes to reducing the cost to electric car owners such as eliminating toll or parking charges, I don’t see how the State will incentivise owners of petrol or diesel cars to make the move to electric vehicles.
“The announcement today of a temporary 0% BIK rate for electric vehicles is nothing more than a PR stunt.
“How can the Government expect motorists to make the move to electric with such uncertainty over BIK rates? With the Government announcing this 0% rate for just 12 months, motorists will not see the benefit in switching.
“The Government should have committed to a five year 0% BIK rate to give certainty and encourage motorists to make this important behavioural change.
“It’s clear that he Government aren’t prepared to take the decisive action needed to protect our climate for this and future generations,” concluded Dooley.