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HomeFarming NewsOpinion: Carbon taxes hurt people; suspend for energy crisis’ duration
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Opinion: Carbon taxes hurt people; suspend for energy crisis’ duration

In this news article, Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, explains why he believes the government should reverse and suspend carbon taxes for the duration of the energy crisis.

The government should reverse the carbon tax increase of €7.50/t of carbon from €33.50 to €41.00 – which came into place in May – and suspend all further increases for the remainder of the energy crisis.

We must now give strong consideration to the abolition of this tax. Carbon taxes in the current fiscal and energy climate are as outdated as the USC.

Keeping this unfair inequitable tax as it is, fundamentally is wrong. Carbon taxes, penalizing all as they do, impact disproportionately on low-income people. This tax was always wrong. But they are utterly unfit for purpose in an age of energy poverty.

The energy crisis 

Any justification of what is essentially a tax on working people has been swept away by the current crisis. It was always, at best, a blunt instrument from an administration that appears to take pleasure in punishing the working poor.

However, in a scenario where people, especially pensioners, young families, and the working poor, are being increasingly forced to choose between food and fue, there is no valid case for its retention in its current form.

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As a start, any future rises in the carbon tax should be suspended for the duration of this crisis, and this year’s increase should be reversed.


If the objective of the carbon tax is to increase the price of fuel, such as to limit its use, then the market is doing this all on its own.

Axing this stealth tax simply recognizes that the market is achieving the same goal.

In a scenario such as this, the carbon tax is now a double levy on the people. It is an outdated relic from the age of fiscal security in price and supply.

Retaining it is simply purposely punitive and discredits the stated claim of its creators.

It is an act of aggression from a class that can afford €40,000 retrofits of their South County Dublin homes and €60,000 for new EV cars.

It serves no valid social or economic purpose beyond engendering hostility amongst the public.

The government should be brave and should be bold. Carbon taxes hurt the people. Stop hurting people.

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