Ireland: Household energy bills set to rise as carbon tax increases kick in
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe announced a €6 hike in carbon taxes, as the levy per tonne of carbon dioxide rose from €20 to €26. Cited as a key measure in Ireland’s efforts to meet carbon emissions reduction targets, carbon tax is levied on oil, petrol, diesel, gas, coal and peat, and has been vociferously opposed by opposition groups such as Sinn Fein amid arguments that lower income earners are unfairly impacted. To offset the impact of the carbon tax increase on the elderly, lower income earners and rural dwellers, the hike was accompanied by an increase of €2 to the fuel allowance, and the implementation of the higher levy was delayed until May 1 and the onset of warmer weather. The increase in petrol and diesel prices was implemented immediately, adding around 6.5c to the cost of a litre of fuel. However, fuel prices have dropped significantly in recent weeks as the restrictions on movement necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have lowered demand, and the price of crude oil has plummeted.