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Four in five people think next month's Carbon Tax increase should be delayed

It’s according to new polling conducted by Red C on behalf of The Journal.

Image: Shutterstock/ako photography

ALMOST FOUR IN five people in Ireland think that the Government should postpone next month’s carbon tax increase, according to a new survey. 

An opinion poll carried out on behalf of The Journal by Red C Research found that 79% of people feel that the Government should postpone the increase.

Just 16% of those surveyed said the increase should not be postponed, while 5% said they did not know. 

The increase is set to kick in on 1 May, when the price of carbon will rise from €33.50 to €41.00 per tonne.

The Government is hoping that the VAT cut will offset the planned increase in the carbon tax.

According to the Red C poll, more females than males thought the increase should be postponed than males. 83% of females thought it should be postponed, as opposed to 78% of males. 

Meanwhile, 83% of those aged 35-54 agreed that the increase should be postponed, compared to 75% of those aged 18-34, and 78% of those aged 55+.

More people with dependent children agreed that the Government should postpone the increase than those without, at 83% and 78%, respectively. 

84% of those in Connacht and Ulster felt the increase should be postponed. This opinion was shared by 82% of people in the rest of Leinster, 79% of people in Munster and 75% in Dublin. 

21% of people in Dublin felt the increase should not be postponed. 

Climate change

The increase in Carbon Tax was proposed as part of Budget 2022 as part of the Government’s strategy to support a greener and cleaner environment in Ireland.

However, opposition TDs have rounded on the Government in recent months over the planned increase, due to the rising cost of living. In February, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said increasing Carbon Tax was “the wrong call at the wrong time”.

“This hike will increase gas bills and push home heating oil up substantially at a time when people are struggling. Carbon Tax hikes add to the cost of everything, particularly food due to increased transport costs and farmers have been telling you this for a long time but you just haven’t listened,” McDonald said.

Mattie McGrath TD of the Rural Independent Group said that Carbon Tax was “key contributing factor” to the rising cost of living, saying that it “a bruising impact” on the prices of homemade electricity, petrol and diesel.

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However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Oireachtas had to deal with climate change “once and for all”. 

“We had it earlier in the cost of living debate. When people were saying postpone the Carbon Tax, just postpone it. And the same will happen with carbon budgets and everybody will say it’s not enough. But when actual specific measures are going to be put on the table in respect to realising these objectives. Everybody will oppose them, ” he said.

The younger generation of this country need us, need this Oireachtas to deal with climate change once and for all. We can’t keep on postponing climate change, we can’t keep on delaying climate change.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last week said that the increase in carbon tax next month will be “more than offset” by the new cost-of-living package, including the VAT reduction. 

“We’ve put together a package that will offset that [carbon tax], in fact, it will more than offset it,” said Varadkar.

“It’ll be both universal and targeted, everyone will benefit from the package but there’ll also be a targeted measure to make sure that those lowest income families get a little bit more.”

Varadkar added that Ireland had received “flexibility” on the EU’s VAT directive, meaning that it would be able to temporarily reduce VAT rates on both electricity and gas without having to increase them to a much higher rate in the future.

Last week, Cabinet signed off on a package of measures aimed at reducing the rising cost of living. The VAT cut on energy bills from 13.5% to 9% will begin on 1 May and last until 31 October, while excise tax on marked gas will also be reduced by 2.7%.

About the author:

Jane Moore

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