Sinn Féin to table Dáil motion ‘scrapping’ May carbon tax rise

Price increase should not go ahead in middle of ‘cost of living crisis’, says Doherty

Sinn Féin is to table a motion in the Dáil on Tuesday calling on the Government not to introduce planned increases in the carbon tax later this year.

The party spokesman on finance, Pearse Doherty, said workers and families are facing "a cost of living crisis" and called on all parties to support the proposal.

“Low and middle-income households spend a higher proportion of their income on food, electricity and home heating than higher-income households,” he said.

An increase on the carbon tax on home heating fuels is due to come into effect on May 1st, with an increase on the tax on transport fuels scheduled for October 12th.


In the Programme for Government, the Coalition said it would increase the tax on carbon by €7.50 per annum to 2029, and by €6.50 in 2030, in order to bring it to €100 per tonne. The tax currently stands at €33.50 per tonne of CO2 produced.

The additional tax revenue to be raised in the period to 2030 is to go into a €9.5 billion Climate Action Fund, with €3 billion to be used to target fuel poverty by way of social welfare.

Carbon taxes were supposed to encourage people to seek alternatives, but Sinn Féin did not believe the alternatives were there, a spokesman for the party said.

“If the alternatives were there, we would support it,” he said. The party is not seeking the reduction of the carbon tax that is already in place.

In his statement, Mr Doherty said the Government did not understand the pressure that workers and families were under.

“The price of gas has increased by 28 per cent in the 12 months to January, the price of home heating has increased by 50 per cent in the same period, the price of petrol by 30 per cent, and the price of diesel by 32 per cent.”

The increases are the cause of financial hardship for many households with the scheduled carbon tax increases set to raise prices even further, he said.

“That is why workers and families need immediate action and why the planned increase in carbon taxes must be scrapped.”

In October last, ahead of the Budget, the Sinn Féin spokesman on agriculture, deputy Matt Carthy, called on the Government to scrap the planned carbon tax increases.

“Workers and families across Ireland are facing a cost-of-living crisis,” he said. “The carbon tax is adding to that.”

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent