Carbon tax increase will go ahead despite spiralling cost of living crisis

Eamon Ryan has confirmed yet more financial strain for the public.

The planned increase in carbon tax is set to go ahead, despite the ongoing cost of living crisis in Ireland.

Recent weeks have seen notable price hike announcements from Ireland’s leading energy providers including Electric IrelandSSE AirtricityEnergia, and Bord Gáis.

Speaking last week, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath confirmed that market volatility, uncertainly and price hikes are “here to stay” for the foreseeable future.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has told the Irish Independent that the carbon tax hike, set to be administered from May, must go ahead.

It is understood that several backbench TDs from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are against the move, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar underlining that nothing can be done without unanimous coalition party support.

Varadkar has also stated that delaying the increase will ultimately lead to further financial strain on the public.

Minister Ryan told the Irish Independent that the carbon tax increase represents a pre-approved Budget action.

The news arrives as Minister Ryan pushes for radical measures in a bid to tackle the ongoing rise in energy costs.

According to the Irish Times, the Minister’s proposed measures are expected to include a public awareness campaign, suggesting specific individual actions that people can take to bring down their costs.

Among those actions – taking shorter showers, cutting out one car journey a week and replacing that trip with walking or public transport, turning down your thermostat by a degree, and not filling a kettle all the way up.

It is understood that new financial measures are not a part of Ryan’s overall plan, which is expected to be fully detailed in May.

The Public Service Obligation levy will be removed from October.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday (4 April), Minister Ryan reiterated his stance that the Government “needs to do a lot more” to battle the current crisis.

“Some of those measures will take time,” he noted.

Minister Ryan spoke of the “need to focus on energy efficiency” and called on the public to play its part in helping others to save money.

Asked about the prospect of shorter showers and less driving, Ryan said there will be a “variety of measures” announced as part of the upcoming campaign.

“The scale of them will depend on the unfolding crisis [Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine] in the next few weeks,” he said.

Minister Ryan acknowledged that the Irish public is currently doing all it can to adapt to the rising cost of living.