“In years to come, and very few years to come, the rural GAA club, the rural school, the rural pub and the rural church will be a distant memory in many areas while we will all be herded into suburbia.”
“It would seem that government policy is trying to gradually phase out rural Ireland altogether,” she told the house.
That is the stark warning Independent TD for Co. Wexford, Verona Murphy, issued during a Dáil debate on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022.
During her speech, she slammed the planning authorities’ attempts to “make it next to impossible” to build a house in rural Ireland and the government’s climate action policies.
She said Ireland’s heritage, culture and society are being eroded “in the name of saving the planet”.
Murphy highlighted that the most “impactful” pieces of legislation to pass through these houses last year was the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021.
She told the house that the bill places an “enormous” cost burden on the ordinary working person.
She said that those who voted for it “stand up here on a regular basis complaining about the cost of living and that the government should be taking measures to deal with it”.
“Did any one of those who supported the Climate Action Bill, think through the consequences of the bill before voting for it? It will make absolutely no material difference to climate change. It is causing serious hardship to those struggling to make ends meet.”
“Did those who voted for the bill not realise that raising the carbon tax every year until 2030 will have the greatest negative impact on the poorest in society? Petrol and diesel prices are rising again, almost back up to the €2 per litre mark.”
She said that the rising cost of fuel does not impact those who rely on public transport and are in a position to be able to avail of public transport.
Yet, these, she added, are the people who received a 25% discount on their travel costs.
According to Murphy, a 15c excise reduction amounted, at the time, to a 7.5% discount on fuel.
“Due to rising prices, however, it was not a discount at all. Yet, those who use public transport are getting a 25% discount,” she said.
“The people cannot use public transport because it is not available in their area, particularly in most of rural Ireland, are effectively being left out of government supports but paying the taxes that the carbon tax has increased.”
She said that those that the rising cost of fuel impacts most are those in rural Ireland and those who simply have no alternative.
“Carbon tax is currently €41/t, and people are at their wits’ end trying to make ends meet with these increases.”
“Unless this runaway train is halted by a large dose of cop on, at some stage, carbon taxes will increase to €100/t by 2030. We cannot tax ordinary people into poverty as a solution to climate change,” Verona Murphy concluded.