Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, says the introduction of the Carbon Tax tomorrow will cause undue hardship to thousands of elderly and vulnerable people as they struggle to deal with cooler than usual temperatures.
Over the next 12 months, the cost of a bag of coal will increase by almost €3 while the price of peat briquettes will also increase by an average of 26 cent per bale. Deputy O’Dea says the imposition of the tax will severely impact those who are most vulnerable.
“The lower than normal temperatures since the start of the year has meant that families throughout the country have had to spend extra money on heating and electricity costs. Although the temperatures have improved over recent weeks, we are still experiencing colder than usual conditions and it is putting strain on already tight budgets.
“I see no sense in bringing in the carbon tax tomorrow. It will unfairly impact the most vulnerable people in our society.
“The last thing struggling families and elderly people need is for the price of coal or briquettes to increase. The introduction of the tax is inequitable and it is the less well-off that will suffer most.
“The recession has reduced the volume of carbon emissions from Ireland, which could allow a deferral of the extension of this levy to domestic solid fuels. The fuel crisis that thousands of families face was acknowledged by the Government when the Fuel Allowance was extended by one week recently.
“I am calling on the Government to urgently review the imposition of the Carbon Tax and its consequences. People have seen their electricity and gas prices increase dramatically over the past year. Last year’s budget saw the Household Benefits package also hit and with the introduction of the Carbon Tax, people are despairing. It is now time for the Government to recognise this and defer its introduction until temperatures return to normal.”