128 TDs, tonight (Wednesday, June 16th), voted to pass the Climate Action Bill in the Dáil, whilst 10 opposed it in the final stage vote.
The Rural Independents Group has issued a statement, accusing backbench TDs of turning “their backs on their constituents, on rural Ireland and on family farms”.
The group warned that the bill’s implications will “hammer every single citizen from now to 2050 and beyond”.
“The government’s ludicrous approach to climate action was laid bare in the Dáil tonight as legislation was rammed through, without proper scrutiny, devoid of changes and refusal to take on board any of the concerns of rural residents and farmers.”
Ending turf cutting
Speaking after the debate tonight from Leinster House, the leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, said:
“It is truly shocking that rural backbench Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs, with the support of Sein Fein, Labour, the Social Democrats, Solidarity, and members from the regional independent group, would vote through a drastic and deeply damaging Climate Action Bill, and not allow even one opposition amendment to be properly considered or accepted.”
“Their actions mean a vote for increased costs on all consumer goods, much more expensive electric bills, culling the cow herd, ending turf cutting and the end of rural one-off housing.”
“With no just transition, protections for agriculture or jobs, or a ‘bottom-up’ people-centred process surrounding this legislation, it is abundantly clear that the government are only interested in protecting multi-national corporations and the super-rich, while burdening ordinary people in every community across Ireland.”
The rural Ireland jersey as a united team
The Rural Independent Group tabled some 90 amendments at report stage. However, McGrath, said the government “blatantly refused” to accept any of these and even denied allocating enough time to debate each one carefully.”
“We provided the platform through our amendments, for all rural TDs to step forward and wear the rural Ireland jersey as a united team. However, all those Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs failed to stand on the side of rural Ireland.”
Instead, he added, they voted for the legislation, fully aware of its damaging consequences, simply to keep their political parties in power.”
“Rural people now face the ending of rural one-off housing and of traditional turf cutting under this legislation, despite Ireland having a major housing crisis and becoming increasingly dependent on peat briquettes being imported from eastern Europe.”
“The dire consequences mean a complete sell-out by the government of the domestic economy, rural communities and the public,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath following the Dáil vote.