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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Brownes Photography & PA The party met in the Majestic Hotel in Tramore, Co Waterford today for its annual think-in conference.
Decisive role

Eamon Ryan claims Green Party is the 'most effective' junior coalition partner in Irish history

Ryan told his colleagues at the party’s think-in that the Greens have “learnt from the past” and are determined to play a “decisive role”.

GREEN PARTY LEADER Eamon Ryan claimed that his party is the “most effective” junior coalition partner in the history of the state in Waterford today.

The Minister for the Environment told his colleagues on the first day of the party’s think-in event that the Greens have “learnt from the past” and are determined to play a “decisive role” in the current coalition.

The party met in the Majestic Hotel in Tramore, Co Waterford today for its annual think-in conference. Eamon Ryan told reporters later that the Green’s junior role in the coalition is “the front wheel” rather than the “mudguard”.

“We’re leading in terms of this change that needs to be delivered. We look back on our Programme for Government, we look back on our manifesto and we see the whole series of developments in our country that we promised and now we’re delivering in government,” he said.

When asked if he thinks his coalition partners were out of touch with the cost-of-living pressures on working families, Ryan said his party was “not disconnected” and he sought to take credit for the energy credits introduced last year.

The energy credit, totalling €600, was announced in last year’s budget for households which was to be delivered in three instalments across November, January and March.

Ryan said his party “laid out this idea of the energy credits” and had proposed it to government ahead of the budget.

He added that he thinks the credits “helped people through a very difficult time”.

The Dublin Bay South TD said, in his opening address to the think-in, that “in the last week alone” the public have seen “several positive examples of the Green Party’s work in Government”.

The minster accredited the work of his party to the proposed speed limit and Dublin City traffic reviews and the announcement of new services to the national train network.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme this morning, the minister welcomed further reductions in energy prices, after FloGas announced a 30% cut to their prices this morning.

Ryan said the reduction was “welcome” and “timely as we go back into the winter”. He said he thinks more companies will announce further reductions. 

Ryan told Morning Ireland that the budget plans to extend scheme to fund homeowners’ move to solar and renewable energy in their home, which he hopes the public will avail of to further reduce their energy cost.

The minister later called on energy companies to further reduce prices, when speaking to reporters at the event.

Hold on excise increases

The Journal reported today that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar indicated a planned increase to excise duties, which would hike up fuel costs, in October could be postponed.

Rates were due to be fully restored on 31 October with a final increase of 8 cent for petrol, 6 cent for diesel, and 3 cent for market gas oil. Prices at the pumps have been on the rise again, with prices close to the €1.80 mark today.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath had hinted at the potential for a postponement previously, suggesting that the government would be keeping a close eye on the issue ahead of the budget.

Ryan, who remains firm on his stance not to discuss potential budgetary measures ahead of talks between cabinet, said the governments must strike a “balance” when it comes to the decisions.

“You have to make sure that, first and foremost, it’s socially progressive, that it protects our people, and we have been able to do that in the last three budgets,” he said.

When questioned by Morning Ireland about the decision to postpone the excise duty increases Ryan said that cabinet are going to “wait and see and get the overall balance right in the budget”.

Included reporting from Press Association and Christina Finn.

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