Citizens’ Assembly proposal to charge farmers for emissions ‘totally out of touch’

Independent TD claims ‘cloud cuckoo land’ move would lead to higher food prices

The Citizens’ Assembly, under chairwoman Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, is debating how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change

The Citizens’ Assembly, under chairwoman Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, is debating how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change

 

A proposal from the Citizens’ Assembly to charge farmers for emissions is “totally out of touch”, an Independent TD has said.

Under chair Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, the 99 assembly members, meeting in Malahide, Co Dublin, are spending a second weekend debating on how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change.

Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice said he “listened with disbelief to the views put forward at the Citizens Assembly over the weekend that farmers should be made to pay for the greenhouse gases that their activities produce.

“Such an action would impact seriously on the price of food which would in turn have major implications for the entire economy and particularly the less well off members of our society,” he said.

Mr Fitzmaurice said if the “daft proposal” were to become a reality farmers would have to receive higher prices for their produce, increasing the price of food across the board.

“It is easy to go into the Citizens’ Assembly and make statements to attract headlines, but I wonder did any of these people actually consider the implications of making farmers pay for greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

“I want the members of the Citizens Assembly to tell the ordinary people of the country that they will have to pay extra for their food. . . . We have to live in the real world and not in cloud cuckoo land.”