The Government Cannot Ignore Fuel & Energy Crisis Any Longer!
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has criticised the government for their “laissez faire” response to the growing fuel and energy crisis hammering households and business, particularly in rural Ireland.
An Teachta Tóibín: “It truly is farcical that as truckers were forced to protest for the second time in a month, and as energy and fuel prices pinch households and businesses coming into Christmas, that the government’s response would only offer reprieve in March. Energy suppliers have hiked prices more than 30 times in 2021. For example, Flogas energy will raise their standard rates for electricity and gas by 19% and 26% respectively. Whilst, Energia will raise prices by 15.7% for electricity and 18.5% for gas. Every energy supplier is doing the same thing – hiking prices and hitting households and businesses in the pocket. Families and small businesses will be paying hundreds of euros per year in a country where the cost of living is already grossly unaffordable to too many. The government’s response is a rebate on the cost of energy for €100 that may come through in March. This is completely inadequate. The fuel and energy crisis is happening now, and relief cannot be put on the long finger for four months. Furthermore, €100 is a drop in the ocean to families who can be paying more than €400 per annum just in price increases alone”.
“The government’s policy is incredibly blunt. It will give €100 to higher earners like Michael O'Leary or JP MacManus. This has no logic. This fund should be targeted at those who most need it.The Gov is going to take out a loan of €170m to give people €100 off their electricity bill. There is no excuse to increase the burgeoning national debt even in part to give an electricity credit to millionaires. The multi annual nature of the carbon tax is an incredibly blunt too. The government is setting the carbon tax on fuel years in advance without knowing the economic circumstance of people or the market price of fuel years in advance”.
“Implementing a multi annual carbon tax so far in advance is guaranteed to cause significant difficulties for families. Aontú has called on the government to put a cap on taxes if the market has already significantly increased the price of fuel.
The purpose of the Carbon Tax is to move people from fossil fuels through price. If the market has already achieved that price the addition of the carbon tax is purely punitive. Hundreds of thousands of families are feeling the impact of the government’s punitive policies now”.
“All of this is interlinked and crippling our economy. Irish truckers have staged two protests in Dublin in a month because of the cost of fuel at the pump. Rural Ireland which is starved of adequate public transport, is paying through the nose because of the necessity of driving a car. Businesses trying to transition to remote working are facing complaints from employees now being hit by larger gas and electricity bills. Inflation in fuel price in conjunction with the carbon tax is drastically driving up the cost of fuel. The government has the power to act to stop this situation getting further out of hand. The government could reduce the level of tax on fuel and to protect businesses and households from further spikes in the cost of living.”