The Green Party and carbon tax


A chara, – Claire Wheeler and Paul Sweeney (Letters, September 24th) both take me to task for daring to question the Green Party’s proposal for extra carbon taxes, arguing that taxation is a valid tool to nudge behaviour in a particular direction.

Indeed, it is. But, as other commentators have pointed out, only where there is an alternative.

To tell a rural worker who has to travel to work that increasing the cost of his or her travel will help to offset climate damage is a nonsense when that worker has no alternative. If we had a viable rural transport system, taxation could rightly be used to nudge people to use it. But we don’t.

Would it not be more appropriate then to use taxation to make those who create and benefit from pollution, the big capitalist companies, including airlines, pay the costs, while continuing to put in place the alternatives that will allow working people also to reduce their use of carbon.

Instead Éamon Ryan prefers to cosset the rich and make the workers pay. – Is mise,


Baile Atha Cliath 22.