Labour Budget measures aim to make Ireland greener

Ivana Bacik TD
04 October 2017

Labour spokesperson on Climate action and the Environment, Senator Ivana Bacik, has said that Labour is committed to moving Ireland towards a carbon-free economy.

Senator Bacik was speaking as Labour launched it’s Alternative Budget plans for next year.

Senator Bacik said:

“I strongly believe that this Budget must deliver investment in public services rather than tax cuts. We want to cut poverty and improve services, to build homes and hospitals, to employ teachers and healthcare workers.

“As Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Action and the Environment, I also believe we need to take real and tangible steps towards a carbon-free economy and society.

“There are therefore two reasons for looking at increasing carbon taxes. First, because without raising additional revenue, we won’t have the resources we need to fund housing, education, health, childcare and social protection.

“Second, because we need to use our tax system to bring about real reductions in carbon emissions – not least in order to achieve our binding EU targets and not face crippling fines over the coming years.

“We all now accept that Ireland faces a climate crisis. Our old way of doing things is no longer sustainable. Taxation is a proven method of reducing demand. As our economy continues to grow, emissions will only increase unless we adapt now. Our plan for a green revolution will provide people with realistic ways to offset any additional costs they incur from these taxation measures.

“As a first step in our progressive approach, an increase of the carbon tax by €10 a tonne would yield €220.2 million. This would result in a modest expected rise of 3.3 cent in diesel, and 2.8 cent in petrol.

“Tackling waste is as important a part of the green agenda as shifting to carbon-free fuels. In the Dáil we recently co-sponsored, with the Green Party, the Waste Reduction Bill to ban the use of non-compostable coffee cups and food and to introduce, from 2020, a recycling charge for plastic and glass bottles as well as aluminium cans.

“We believe this is the right approach. But we cannot wait for legislation to be passed to take action. So, we are proposing, as an incremental step towards the ban, the introduction of a 5c levy on non-compostable coffee cups with effect from January 1st. This levy will add to the environmental fund, and will apply until such time as the use of these cups has been banned.

“Labour makes no apology for looking for additional revenue sources to fund our ambitious plans for a society that promotes decency, tackles injustice and delivers equality. And we make no apology at all for targeting those taxes on addressing the practices that we so urgently need to change.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Labour’s Alternative Budget can be found here www.labour.ie/download/pdf/our_future_labours_alternative_budget_2018.pdf

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