Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 18 Nov 1997

Vol. 482 No. 8

Written Answers. - Carbon Tax.

John Gormley


159 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Finance his views on the benefits of introducing a carbon tax in Ireland. [19588/97]

There are many forms of carbon tax. It is not clear if the Deputy is referring to the carbon energy tax such as that which was proposed by the European Commission in 1992 and on which no agreement was reached, or to the proposed directive on the taxation of energy products which the Commission introduced in March 1997. The benefits and problems of a carbon tax would obviously depend on the rates of tax, the coverage and whether such a measure was introduced in the EU alone, by Ireland unilaterally or more widely among developed states.

With regard to the EU energy tax, which was presented in March 1997, discussions are ongoing by technical experts reporting to the ECOFIN Council. My particular concern, as Minister for Finance, will be to ensure that any measure which is advanced to promote energy saving does not adversely affect Ireland's international competitiveness. I am, of course, concerned also about the effect the imposition of any such tax would have on the consumer price index and how the tax would impact on the less well off members of the community.
It is also appropriate to emphasise that Ireland has relatively high taxes on energy use at present, particularly those that relate to motoring, including value-added tax and vehicle registration tax.