Mayo Sinn Féin TD has hit out at the government and TDs in Mayo for 'pushing through a ban on turf as we face into winter during and a cost-of-living crisis'.
Deputy Conway-Walsh said: “Sinn Féin brought forward a motion to scrap the turf ban back in April that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs in Mayo voted against despite claiming to oppose the ban. It was another example of some TDs playing opposition in the constituency and voting with government up in Dublin.
“Now the ban is being pushed through at the worst possible time as people are being hit by sky high energy bills and we haven’t even reached the coldest months of the winter.
“The government pushing through a turf ban is a sign that they are out of touch with rural communities and the cost-of-living crisis that is hitting people. People just want to be able to heat their homes.
“In Minister Ryan and the Tánaiste’s constituencies, 85% of homes are heated with either gas or electricity. And over 70% in the Taoiseach’s constituency. Compare that to Mayo where most people still rely on oil, peat or coal and only 7.5% of people use gas or electricity.
“The government’s plan punishes communities who rely on turf, instead of introducing measures to support communities in transitioning away from this form of heating in a way that is fair and sustainable. But that isn’t being done. Take for example, the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme, there are now 9,000 people on the waiting list for that scheme and the waiting time has shot up to 27 months.
“Like the unfair carbon tax, it hits those on lowest incomes and in rural areas hardest while failing to go after the major polluters.
“Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing our planet and urgent action is required. But ill-thought-out policies like this damage environmental protection by alienating communities."