Government increases petrol and diesel prices despite opposition from Rural Independent Deputies; no support from other TDs
“The Finance Bill 2023 has passed in the Dáil, and my colleagues and I in the Rural Independent Group fought tooth and nail to block it. This bill could add up to €10 to the cost of a tank of fuel for an average motorist,” said Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, speaking from Leinster House.
“In total, this legislation is designed to hike diesel up by 18 cents per litre and petrol by 23 cents per litre. Despite the crippling impact of these taxation increases, especially on rural communities, not a single TD apart from the Rural Independent Group sought to challenge the increases.”
“Each week, we hear other TDs from across the house complaining about the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on ordinary people. Yet, when those same TDs had a tangible opportunity to do something meaningful and vote against a massive increase to the price of petrol and diesel, they supported the government and clung firmly to the crippling green climate change taxation policy, which is crippling rural communities and all rural residents.”
“Instead of demanding a vote and supporting rural motorists, these Deputies acted to allow the government to take hundreds of millions from the pockets of Irish motorists. An amendment proposed by the Rural TDs would not only keep the lower rate of duty on fuels but also ensure that there are no further increases to the carbon tax. However, this amendment was conveniently ruled out of order.”
“Unfortunately, this signals that all other TDs in Dáil Éireann, apart from the Rural Independent TDs, are not willing to stand by the courage of their convictions and against this green nirvana, which is putting an unfair and crippling burden on ordinary people, pushing them to the point of poverty and destroying the rural economy.”
“We have always said that it is important to promote sustainable practices and reduce carbon emissions, but this must be done in a fair and equitable way that does not disproportionately affect those who are already struggling to make ends meet. How can TDs from across the house support the government’s relentless push for higher energy taxes, which is not only misguided but also causing unnecessary hardship and financial strain on families, farmers, and businesses across the country.”
“For example, last week a study from the consulting firm EY/Eurelectric injected a dose of common-sense reality with serious concerns about this push for electric cars we are being urged to buy, just as we were urged to buy diesel by the government the last time the Green Party were in power.”
“The EY report confirms that the infrastructure challenges facing the EV transition are significant and unrealistic. The report also raises very serious concerns around the large quantities of nickel, cobalt, rare earths, and lithium, for which there is intense geopolitical competition likely to produce further wars, if enough of the material even exists. Furthermore, the mining of these materials is everything but a clean, ethical, or environmentally sustainable process.”
“The push for EVs by this government will result in widespread restrictions on transport, as their charging infrastructure will be extremely difficult to deliver. However, it is now clear that government and indeed opposition TDs in the Dáil do not want to hear this questioning of the consensus.”
“My colleagues and I in the Rural Independent Group live firmly in the real world. We know that people cannot afford, nor should they be pushed into buying an expensive new electric car, which has no resale value. Instead, we should start being pragmatic about how difficult and long the transition will be. Although electric vehicles and further innovations will proliferate, the reality is that we will need petrol, diesel, e-fuels, and the internal combustion engine for many decades to come.”
“Despite this, the agenda from the government and most opposition TDs is to tax petrol and diesel to the point of unaffordability. We will continue to fight this failed and senseless narrative which unfairly burdens rural communities with the costs of government policies,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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