Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ceisteanna (33)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

33. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the legislation will be introduced to ring-fence the increase in carbon tax in 2020; the assurances that can be given that the correct funding will be allocated to expenditure on climate change and fuel poverty initiatives in 2020 and onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46827/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

On Budget Day 2020 I announced that I was increasing carbon tax by €6 per tonne as a first step towards the 2030 target of €80 per tonne. I also announced that this measure will raise €90 million in 2020, all of which will be ring-fenced to fund new climate action measures.

Details of the specific measures to receive funding were published on Budget Day. These are increases that would not have taken place in the absence of an increase to the carbon tax and the increased funding is additional to that provided for in the National Development Plan.

Further detail on the measures receiving this funding will be detailed in a table in the Revised Estimates Volume for Public Services 2020. This will be published in December 2019. The Revised Estimates Volume is referred to the Oireachtas on an annual basis and is approved by the various Dáil Select Committees responsible for each vote, ensuring that there is democratic oversight on the use of Exchequer funds.

Approval of the Revised Estimates Volume requires Departments to use the funding allocated for the specific purpose of its allocation. This will also be confirmed in the capital sanction that each Department will receive in 2020.  In the event of any underspend of these carbon tax proceeds in 2020, the remaining balance will be given priority over other Departmental savings for the purposes of capital carryover arrangements in 2020, so that they can be allocated to future climate-related expenditure.  Collectively, these arrangements guarantee that all funds raised by the carbon tax increase in 2020 will go towards expenditure on climate action measures as committed to in Budget 2020.