Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.37 14 Oct 2020


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The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said carbon tax increases are designed to help people 'choose the right thing.'

He said increases in other allowances will off-set any such increase in the carbon tax.

The carbon tax applies to kerosene, marked gas oil, liquid petroleum gas, fuel oil, natural gas and solid fuels.

As part of the budget announced on Tuesday, the tax increased by €7.50 a tonne from midnight.

While an additional €100m of carbon tax revenues are set to be provided for investment in the energy efficiency of homes.

To offset this, the Fuel Allowance is increasing by €3.50 per week to €28 to compensate those on lower incomes for the additional energy costs that are likely due to the carbon tax changes.

Some €286.5m has also been set aside for retrofitting, and €1.8bn announced for sustainable transport.

Minister Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast the carbon tax increases are not meant to be punitive.

"As Michael McGrath said is his budget speech yesterday, this is not designed to raise revenue, this is not designed to hit people in the pocket.

"It's designed to change choices - to make it easier to choose the right thing.

"The way we protect people from fuel poverty has been very well analysed.

"Before we introduced this tax we went to the ESRI, they went away and said 'How would you protect people to avoid that outcome?'

"They came back with seven options but... one of the best options was the one we introduced yesterday.

"You particularly target those who are most vulnerable, most at-risk of poverty - so what we did is increase the Qualified Child Allowance.

"That's going to families on social welfare who have children, cause you've to really protecting [sic] against child poverty is a key.

"We increased the Living Alone Allowance - a lot of older people typically living on their own can suffer from fuel poverty - and we increased the Fuel Allowance, which is designed to protect against that very eventuality".

On retrofitting, Minister Ryan said: "We're only ramping up, and part of ramping up is Simon Harris has organised 1,500 apprentiships for people to work in this area.

"And by providing this guarantee, one of the benefits of the carbon tax is that the industry knows next year that that budget's going to grow - and I believe that we will get a lot of private sector financing come in as well because this is the best investment you can make in your home.

"Everyone knows now that if you have a good energy rating, the value of your home goes up".

A third area Minister Ryan said will benefit from the carbon tax is rural communities.

"Pippa Hackett and Charlie McConalogue will be responsible for a new environmental support scheme.

"There'll be €76m will [sic] go into it next year and it will ramp up each year.

"It will be targeting improving biodiversity, natural habitats... it's to put money into rural Ireland to pay farmers well for looking after our land".

Main image: Minister for Transport, the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan briefs the media on Budget 2021 for his department in the Government Press Centre in Dublin. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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Budget 2021 Carbon Tax Carbon Tax Increase Eamon Ryan Energy Efficiency Newstalk Breakfast Retrofitting

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