Hiking the cartoon tax at a time when households have seen their incomes collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is "a ridiculous decision".
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway West TD, Mairéad Farrell, who noted an ESRI report which highlighted that a carbon tax increase will predominantly hit low-income and rural households. The hike came into effect last Friday and will see tax on solid fuels increase by 30 per cent.
'The priorities must be to protect the incomes of households, and a recovery plan that invests in green technologies and alternatives'
"Low-income and rural households cannot be expected to unfairly feel the brunt of government measures, especially at a time when many are already struggling financially," said Dep Farrell. "This tax increase should have been deferred at least during the Coronavirus crisis."
She said the fact it was introduced in the middle of a health and financial crisis is "a worrying indication of what is likely to come" under a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael government, "where neither party has learned the lessons from February’s General Election".
She said the priorities in the months ahead must be "protecting the incomes of households, and then preparing a recovery plan that transforms our economy and invests in green technologies and alternatives".