Carbon tax: ‘Ordinary people do not have alternatives to heat their homes’

Kathleen O’Sullivan

Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell has called for the government to reconsider the introduction of the carbon tax that is set to be introduced by the Finance Bill 2020 in the coming days.

The bill was debated at second stage in the Dáil this week and the deputy made the point that the “harsh reality of this tax will hit people’s pockets in the coming weeks as we face into nights getting colder”.

“It will increase the cost of lighting the fire for those who have no other option but to sit in a cold house,” the deputy continued. “For people struggling week to week, all this measure will do is push up the price of a bag of coal, or the cost of filling their heating tank.” She feels that the carbon tax will punish those “who have no alternative” and the government needs to reconsider it immediately.

‘Ordinary People Do Not Have Alternatives To Heat Their Homes’

“Ordinary people do not have alternatives to heat their homes,” the deputy said, and “they are being punished due to no fault of their own”. “What does the minister say to the elderly person or the family with children who have an open fire and buy their bags of coal or a tank of oil to keep their house warm this winter?

Will he tell them what they can do as an alternative to heat their home? People are living in poverty and the minister must accept this increase is not fair.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, people are told to stay in their houses. Are they to stay in their freezing homes because they cannot afford fuel to keep them warm? “These increases will happen every year for the next 10 years. The government has to bring people along and this measure does not do that. It is the punishment of the weakest.”

Rural Areas: ‘They Are The Very Areas This Government Would Like To See Shut Down’

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae also raised his concerns on the matter.

“This government has signed itself and future governments up to the carbon tax, which will affect people living in rural Ireland most,” the Kerry TD said. “We do not have adequate public transport and we must rely on our own motor cars to transport us from A to B. “We should always remember that the person living in the Black Valley or Ballinskelligs is as entitled to live as the person who resides in Blackrock.

These people are entitled to go from their homes to their place of work or to an education as much as anybody else. It costs us more to do that because we must travel.

The deputy says he is “delighted” to keep the lights on in rural areas because “they are the very areas this government and other governments would like to see shut down”.

‘People Need To Be Told The Truth’

“The government would be delighted if there were no lights on in Portmagee or in a lot of rural Ireland. The government would be happier if that was the case because it would like to centralize people in towns, villages, and cities, despite those areas being unable to cater to the people they have already. “I have no doubt that in the years ahead electric vehicles will probably be a good thing. They are not fit for purpose at the moment, however. “It will also cost people more money to heat their homes. I refer to buying fuel, such as a bag of coal. Elderly people, in particular, adore their little open fires.

We must remember there is nothing wrong with having an open fire in one’s home. We were always told that the right thing to do was to keep the home fires burning at all costs.

“This government is now trying to quench those fires to satisfy the green agenda. That is exactly what we are doing in this bill. People need to be told the truth.”

Note: This blog is a re-post of the original posted on the AgriLand website.