At Leaders’ Questions today, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to agree to a planned increase in Carbon Tax of €20 per tonne in the next budget and €5 per tonne in every subsequent year up to 2030. The increased revenue from the tax would be returned to citizens on an individual basis.
The proposal followed on from questions by Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan in the Joint Committee on Climate Action last week. The Committee agreed to her request for the Department of Finance to provide details on the practicalities of returning the revenue to citizens through tax rebates, social welfare, direct payments, or a combination of measures.
Deputy Ryan pointed out that the net effect for the public of the Carbon Cashback would be to benefit people on low incomes as they use less energy.
Earlier in the session, the Taoiseach said that a time would come when Fine Gael would set out its approach to Carbon Tax. Deputy Ryan responded: “With the Government drafting a National Energy and Climate Tax by December 31st, the time to decide is now. You can’t make that plan without knowing what you do about the Carbon tax.
“Carbon tax on its own is only going to make marginal change but it helps. To back it up we need major investment in public transport, retrofitting of buildings, continuous cover forestry, and solar and offshore wind power.”
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