The Taoiseach has indicated that the carbon tax hike is scheduled to go into effect on May 1st. The increase applies to gas, solid fuels and heating oil.
We also said that the government was not considering a mini-budget in the face of skyrocketing energy bills.
The mini-budget was requested by the Sinn Féin guide Maria Lou McDonaldwho called for aid expenditure of 1.4 billion euros.
Michael Martin also acknowledged that the government cannot fight inflation alone but must be tackled by the group of countries using the single currency as a whole.
However, he warned that it was not up to workers to “chase inflation” by seeking wage increases, despite the government’s aim to “extend” a day public sector contract with unions.
Mr. Martin repeated the leader of the Greens Eamon Ryan urging personal “energy efficiency,” saying it’s easy to scoff at such points.
The Taoiseach has already defended government moves when asked about suggestions that inflation could hit 10 percent in the summer.
“Because of the war, there is uncertainty and you can’t be definitive about predictions,” Martin said.
“What we need to avoid is chasing inflation and I think everyone, including the opposition, needs to be very honest about that,” Martin said.
Such wage increases would themselves be inflationary since they would have to be paid for by raising the prices of consumers of goods and services.
“Fleeting inflation would not help people in terms of the cost of living,” the Taoiseach stressed.
“So we have to react sensibly and skillfully.
“I also think the ECB (European Central Bank) has a role to play in terms of inflationary policy that Ireland doesn’t have.”
Mr Martin said quantitative easing and other tools are available to the ECB.
“The Irish government alone will not be able to deal with it (inflation) in its entirety.”
When asked if he ruled out a mini-budget, Mr. Martin said, “We’re not considering a mini-budget.”
Ms McDonald said yesterday the state was expected to run a surplus this year, so it should spend €1.4 billion to deduct VAT from fuel while raising taxes on banks and vulture funds.
Referring to the carbon tax, Mr Martin said the overall increase that will materialize at the end of the month “is not as significant as the political debate about it would suggest”.
“Let’s be perfectly honest – there are problems of a larger magnitude. This was enshrined in law to counter an existential crisis of our time – climate change.
“Today’s UN report will once again show the pressure on us. But we have to take care of targeted measures, the fuel allowance and so on, to help people get through this special time.”
However, he added: “There is no point in taking action monthly, although we are aware that over a year, people’s disposable income will be affected by what happens.
“All measures we take must aim to help people cope with the current situation. It’s not week-to-week, and we’ve already taken significant action. “
He insisted that the carbon tax increase “was by and large not as significant as other increases because of the war and the resulting economic situation.”
A spokesman for the Greens said suspending the increase would save just €1.40 on a monthly gas bill or €1.50 on a monthly heating oil bill.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-indicates-carbon-tax-increase-will-go-ahead-next-month-despite-cost-of-living-crisis-41519200.html Taoiseach points out that despite the cost-of-living crisis, there will be an increase in the carbon tax next month