Leo's Carbon Tax 'regressive in the absence of alternatives ' - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for climate action David Cullinane TD has today lambasted Taoiseach Varadkar and his government for their carbon tax proposal, calling it a levy on ordinary households stuck with no alternatives in transport and home heating.
Deputy Cullinane said:
"The Taoiseach's speech to the U.N. today is the height of hypocrisy.
"He knows that for hundreds of thousands of ordinary households there simply are not viable alternatives in place for them regarding transport, fuel, and heating use.
"Yet, in order to look good on the international stage, the Taoiseach is giving the impression that Irish household behaviour is drowning the island.
"Decades of underinvestment in public transport, alongside the reckless weakening of construction planning laws and standards, have left Irish households depended on their car for transport, and oil and gas for home heating.
"The news that the tax will be ring-fenced for climate action does nothing to soften the blow.
"The way to fund climate action is through progressive taxation, and when alternatives are in place, taxes and levies can be used to change behaviour.
"Once again the establishment parties are using ordinary households as their scapegoat.
"Sinn Féin wants to see climate action funded through progressive taxation.
"It is incredible that such thinking is beyond the pale for Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, labour, and the Greens.
"We need investment in public transport, in renewable energy infrastructure, and in the retrofitting of our housing stock.
"The idea that a carbon tax will fund all of this is laughable.
"Progressive taxation and borrowing for green investment is the only way to do this in the absence of alternatives.
"Leo just wants a soundbite for the U.N.
"Sinn Féin wants genuine climate investment and action."