A stand-off between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil has threatened to derail a proposal to quadruple carbon tax.
The recommendation to increase the levy from €20 a tonne to €80 a tonne by 2030 will remain in the Oireachtas climate action committee report despite attempts from opposition politicians to have it removed last night.
Timmy Dooley, a Fianna Fáil TD, had proposed removing the defined increase, arguing that more time was needed to research how it would affect vulnerable households. He lost an amendment to remove the €80 recommendation. He accused Fine Gael of having a “fashionable” interest in climate change.
“If we go ahead with this amendment we are loading another layer of tax on citizens who are already under serious financial pressure without any firm evidence that increasing the cost would work,” he said.
Carbon tax is levied on fossil fuels as part of efforts to slow climate change.
Martin Heydon, a Fine Gael TD, suggested his opposition rivals were being short-sighted and that other political parties were likely to be in power over the course of the next decade…
Eamon Ryan, the Green Party leader, surprised committee members by calling for a delay of four to five months to negotiate the level of the carbon tax increase. He said that this was to “avoid the water charges scenario” which resulted in a reversal of plans to introduce charges.