The carbon tax on fossil fuels will be increased under the budget as planned, but initial price increases will be offset by the removal of a separate levy.
The well-heralded €7.50 increase brings the tax per tonne to €48.50 in a planned series of increases by 2030.
It will come into force on October 12 for both petrol and diesel, theoretically adding 2 cents per liter, but the removal of the NORA (National Oil Reserves Agency) levy, which also adds 2 cents per liter, means no price change at pumps .
The tax on coal, peat products and heating oil is not due to come into force until next May.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe defended the decision to go ahead with tax hikes despite the energy and livelihood crises.
“Protecting our environment is everyone’s responsibility, and the government is acting to reduce emissions and support newer, cleaner technologies, particularly in the areas of energy and transport,” he said.
“Some of the additional funding needed for measures like retrofitting and more sustainable modes of transport comes from carbon taxation and that is appropriate and will continue under this administration.”
The move will create a €623 million carbon tax fund, half of which will go towards home retrofits and energy improvements.
It will provide grants and directly fund work on 37,000 homes, including homes eligible for the free Warmer Homes Scheme.
Around €218 million of the fund will be used for social protection measures to help low-income households most at risk of fuel poverty.
The remaining €81 million will support farmers under a new rural environment agri-climate scheme.
An important part of the retrofit plan is cheap credit. The measure was announced in last year’s budget but has yet to come to market.
This is set to be fixed this year, but more details are awaited.
A €2.6 billion transport spending package will be presented in more detail later, but will include support to ensure the progress of major public transport projects including Bus Connects, MetroLink and Dart Plus.
For passengers, the 20 per cent discount on public transport fares has been extended until the end of next year, as has the Youth Travel Card discount scheme, which sees all transport travel at half price.
More details are also expected to flesh out the promise of “significant additional funding” for the National Parts and Wildlife Service, which was the subject of a highly critical scrutiny earlier this year.
A sum of €4.3 million has been allocated to set up the long-awaited marine regulator, which will manage the permitting process for offshore wind projects and perform a variety of other monitoring and monitoring functions related to activities at sea.
Almost a billion euros (€930 million) will be allocated to water services to try to make further progress on a legacy of underinvestment and the shortcomings that still cause regular pollution and contamination problems.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/budget-2023-and-climate-carbon-tax-hike-goes-ahead-but-with-offset-move-and-promise-of-help-for-low-income-homes-42021196.html Budget 2023 and climate: Carbon tax hikes continue, but with offsetting moves and promises to help low-income households