Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (144)

Joan Burton

Question:

144. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Finance his views on the country-by-country report of the European Commission recommending the State to cut its fossil fuel subsidies and to send a stronger price signal to investors by committing to a schedule of increases in the carbon tax over the next decade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25327/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I welcome the publication of the draft Country Specific Recommendations (CSR) for Ireland which form part of the overall European Semester process.

The Commission has opined that Ireland has further potential to improve the way its tax system can support environmental objectives. Reducing fossil fuel subsidies and committing to a schedule of increases in the carbon tax over the next decade are viewed as possible measures in this regard.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action has also recommended that a trajectory of increases in the rate of Carbon Tax up to €80 by 2030 should be implemented once an evidence based plan is in place to provide supports for climate action measures including the provision of supports for fuel poverty. As recommended by the Joint Committee on Climate Action, my Department has launched a public consultation on the options for use of revenue raised from increases in the Carbon Tax. The feedback received from this consultation will help to inform future Carbon Tax policy options. The consultation is open for submissions until 28th June 2019 and is accessible at the following link:

https://assets.gov.ie/9384/b078dbb6c7614c748b897ba01b481532.pdf.

An examination of fossil fuel tax subsidies and carbon tax will take place in the Tax Strategy Group papers as part of the annual budgetary process.