Latest Laois News: Local TD calls on Minister to suspend upcoming Carbon Tax increase
Need to update strategy behind ‘Combat Energy Poverty’ maintains local TD Carol Nolan
Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, has called on the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, to immediately update the national Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty 2016-2019.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after Minister Ryan confirmed to her in reply to a parliamentary question that a review of the implementation of the Strategy is expected to be completed ‘in the coming months.’:
“The recent developments in Ukraine and the impact that these will have on European and Irish energy costs has created an added urgency around this issue,” Deputy Nolan said.
“Organisations like Age Action Ireland are clearly telling us that in one year, between December 2020 and December 2021, the cost of energy rose by 27%, and energy costs are now 34% higher than December 2016. This means that up to 28% of households may be in fuel poverty, including 165,000 of households with older persons.”
“Minister Ryan says that the review of the Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty is expected to be complete in the coming months. This is just not good enough. The energy crisis has been flagged for well over a year now including the spiralling costs associated with home heating.”
“That is why Government must come to its senses and least suspend the proposed carbon tax increase on home heating oil that is due to come into effect in May. As I say, the international situation and the increasing volatility around the energy markets only compounds the need to do this.”
“Minster Ryan may well point to the increase in Fuel Allowance payments by €5, but I would point to what Age Action Ireland are saying around the research conducted for the Minimum Essential Standard of Living survey for 2021, which found that older persons need to spend at least between €24.76 and €33.28 per week on home energy costs.”
“Government action is not keeping pace with the energy crisis hitting almost all sectors of Irish society. The need for an updated national Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty has rarely been more necessary,” concluded Deputy Nolan.