Carbon Fund must prioritise retrofitting following FG U-turn
No figures available on how many council homes will be retrofitted in 2019
Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD has said that the retrofitting of local authority homes must be prioritised by the Government as part of its commitment to tackling climate change.
It follows the U-turn today announced by the Government on the use of the carbon tax revenue.
In response to a Parliamentary Question to Minister Eoghan Murphy last week on the number of local authority homes that will be retrofitted in 2019, the Minister was unable to provide concrete figures on how many homes would be retrofitted, which will be key to tackling fuel poverty.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“It’s clear from the answer I received from Minister Murphy that the Government is passing the buck to the local authorities when it comes to the retrofitting of homes. Making these homes more energy efficient is key to tackling fuel poverty.
“It’s not good enough that at this stage in late September the Government still has no details on the number of homes that will be retrofitted in the 31 Council areas this year. We can only take from that that the answer is few and far between.
“Today the Taoiseach will perform a major U-turn on the FG policy on the use of carbon tax revenue, adopting the Labour party position that the funds should be ringfenced for tackling climate change. However, as the official response shows, there does not appear to be any plans to ramp up the number of council homes that are retrofitted.
“The Government can’t just pay lip service to tackling climate change, it needs to take real action, and the local authorities must be able to access a national funding stream to retrofit homes, street by street. That is why I am calling today for a commitment, not just words from the Taoiseach.
“This is a major job of work but is essential in the transition to the low carbon economy.
“In our upcoming alternative budget, Labour will lay out plans to ring-fence revenue from the carbon tax to fund a State-led retrofitting programme of up to 100,000 homes a year.
“We have also committed to building 80,000 new homes over five years, which will be near-zero emissions.”