Low and middle income families must be protected from carbon tax increases - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said low and middle income families must be protected from the burden of carbon tax.
He said the idea that struggling families can easily switch to low carbon lifestyles is not realistic and that the big polluters, the wealthy and corporate Ireland, must pay their fair share.
Speaking today Teachta Doherty said;
“We all recognise the need to reduce our carbon footprint but any attempt to introduce a carbon tax needs to be based on fairness and should not impose further financial burden on those already struggling to deal with the rising cost of living.
“The wealthy and massive corporations must pay their fair share. Struggling families cannot carry the can for them.
“The idea that those on low and middle incomes can easily switch to low carbon lifestyles is not realistic. It ignores the reality of people who are just holding things together. They don’t have the money for retrofitting. They can’t change the heating system in their insecure rented accommodation.
“They can’t afford to buy a new car so switching to an electric car is inconceivable. Many can’t take public transport because there isn’t any, particularly in rural Ireland. For people in this situation they need a carrot not a stick approach.
“We need a significant investment in public transport, retrofitting homes, alternative energies – a carbon tax on its own won’t change anything. We need a suite of measures to tackle this huge issue facing the planet.
“The reality is that people don’t trust the government to do this because they and Fianna Fáil before them have run public transport services into the ground, privatised buses, increased fares etc.
“The approach to tackling climate change should be used as an opportunity to make people’s lives easier, not harder, by delivering better transport, better quality of life, better housing and better environments to live in.”