Ireland’s mandarins block carbon tax payback, despite Ireland’s Prime Minister pledge last year following violent yellow vest protests in France against higher fuel costs driven by a carbon tax.
The Department of Finance is set to oppose a plan to refund carbon tax in direct payments to Irish households despite fears of public resistance to the new charge. Senior Merrion Street officials are concerned at the lack of funding for the climate action plan launched in June and the complexity of refunding the tax in an even-handed way, government sources said.
A consultation process run by the Department of Finance this summer has come down strongly in favour of channelling the tax towards building a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and retrofitting homes with “high-spec” insulation. A majority of the 66 submissions from industry, academia, state agencies and the community and voluntary sector were opposed to the “cheque-in-the-post” or dividend system to offset the impact of carbon tax increases.
The Green Party has estimated the rebate could be worth €85 per citizen next year if the carbon tax was doubled from €20 to €40 per ton in next month’s budget. […]
The taoiseach appeared to favour the dividend system last year following violent yellow vest protests in France against higher fuel costs driven by a carbon charge. In November, he told the Dail: “The model I personally favour is that which prime minister [Justin] Trudeau is pursuing in Canada. I had a chance to speak to him about it around two weeks ago . . . where the money is given back to people in the form of tax credits and welfare.”