Minister for Transport, Climate, Environment and Communications Eamon Ryan has argued that the carbon tax is the solution to energy price hikes.
His defensive statements come after Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty described the tax as a “con job”.
Describing it as “the right thing to do”, Ryan said that it was “critical” when it comes to delivering emissions reduction targets while adding that revenue “goes straight back to the people”.
He also described the tax as “progressive” as it ensures that people on lower incomes benefit the most.
Of the €9.5 billion that is projected to be raised by the carbon tax over the next nine years, Ryan stated, “€3bn will go to social protection; €5bn will go to the retrofitting, and €1.5bn to farmers.”
Ryan added that the carbon tax was Ireland’s “only protection” in relation to reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels as it would lead to an improvement in the efficiency in homes that use fossil fuels via retrofitting.
During the announcement of yesterday’s Budget, it was confirmed that there would be an increase of €7.50 per tonne in carbon tax to €41.
The Programme for Government commits to additional spending of €9.5 billion raised through increases in the carbon tax from 2021 to 2030.