Carbon Tax Hike Will Drive More Into Energy Poverty

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Lack of research on effects of hike means most vulnerable will be hit

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has warned that a hike in the carbon tax proposed in the budget is an indiscriminate measure that will not help the fight against climate but runs the real risk of increasing levels of energy poverty.

Describing the measure as a blunt instrument she said this and the previous government had still not undertaken the research they promised into the extent and impact of energy poverty and proposed hikes in the tax.

She said: “It is criminally irresponsible for the government to allow this hike, we know nearly 28% of households in the country are in energy poverty, we know some 400,000 people go without heating at some stage because of costs and we know that payments like fuel allowance do not cover many of those affected.”

She said the measure would hit those who could not change their behaviour or switch to renewable or energy efficiency ways of heating homes or transport.

“This hike and the changes in taxes on petrol and diesel can assuage the Green Party’s conscience over climate but it will not deal with the core issue or address the levels of emissions. This increase will hit the most vulnerable and won’t change the personal behaviour of people who live from week to week- it just punishes them for systemic failures.”

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