Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (117)

Tony McLoughlin


117. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Finance his plans to ensure that micro businesses that operate inside the fossil fuel industry in business such as stove selling and installation, which will be most affected by the introduction of a carbon tax and the move towards a greener economy, are supported if their businesses are forced to close due to the introduction of this new tax; if this will be consistent with the approach to protect those most vulnerable to the changes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46083/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I do not believe that businesses selling stoves would necessarily consider themselves to be operating "inside the fossil fuel industry". There is no carbon tax applied on wood or wood pellets and therefore consumers can purchase wood or pellet burning stoves or when purchasing multi fuel stoves can use wood or wood pellets instead of solid fuels, in both cases entirely avoiding the carbon tax.    

As the Deputy will appreciate, solid fuels emit high levels of carbon dioxide as well as other pollutants which are harmful to human health and our environment. The carbon tax increase is part of an overall suite of measures to encourage a move away from fossil fuels to alternative fuels and technologies, and provides opportunities for businesses, including those selling heating solutions.  

I do acknowledge that some sectors and areas will be disproportionately impacted by increases in the carbon tax and it is for this reason that I am ringfencing the additional revenues raised from the increase to protect those most exposed to higher energy costs, to build a Just Transition and to support new investment in climate action.