Environmental groups claim €6bn could be raised by taxing pollution and waste

Pre-budget submission calls for Ireland to ‘protect its ecological assets’

The Environmental Pillar, which represents 28 national environmental groups, proposes an “energy tax and share system” aimed at promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Environmental Pillar, which represents 28 national environmental groups, proposes an “energy tax and share system” aimed at promoting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

 

The Government could raise up to €6 billion by taxing pollution and waste and redistribute it through income tax cuts in the upcoming budget, according to the Environmental Pillar.

The pillar, which represents 28 national environmental groups, noted that a start had been made by taxing carbon but more needed to be done to “help struggling households by focusing taxes on environmental ‘bads’.”

In a pre-budget submission it argues a range of measures in the energy, transport, and waste sectors consuming resources could raise up to €6 billion by, for example, eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies.

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The submission recommends ways of broadening the tax base and using limited financial resources in a way that focuses on long-term sustainability, while also creating employment and stimulating the economy in the short term.

“Economic policy tends to focus on maximising economic growth regardless of the effects on our ecological assets and human health and wellbeing. Ireland needs to protect its ecological assets,” said Cillian Lohan, of the Environmental Pillar.

“This is about the long-term viability of our economic recovery. We don’t want to see another boom-bust cycle... Greening the entire economy will be a driver for competitiveness, security of supply and for sustainable employment.”