Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has called on Revenue to put today’s carbon tax increase on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Home heating fuels will rise in price from today under measures introduced in the Government’s budget last October.
The increase will cause the cost of an average household’s annual gas bill will go up by around €14 a year.
It will add €2.73 to a 40kg bag of coal and 59c to a bale of briquettes.
It will also add €65 for every fill of a 900 litre tank of home heating oil.
The timing of the tax hike has come under sharp criticism, with Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty commenting that it should not be introduced as households face financial hardship.
Deputy Doherty said: “Yesterday, I wrote to Revenue calling for the planned increase in Carbon Tax to be deferred in light of the financial crisis that has hit workers and families throughout the State.
“Over half a million people have lost their jobs in the past two months and households face significant financial hardship in the weeks and months ahead.
“From today, the Carbon Tax on solid fuels will increase by 30 percent.
“As noted by the ESRI in their report on the financial impact a Carbon Tax on households, increases in this tax will predominantly hit low-income and rural households.
“While this was the case in normal times, its effect is even greater today when so many have lost their jobs or had their incomes reduced.”
Deferring the tax is the “right thing to do”, Deputy Doherty said, to ensure that workers’ and families’ income loss is not compounded by price increases.
“I am calling on Revenue to defer this increase, with necessary changes made to legislation by the Oireachtas at the earliest opportunity.
“The priorities in the months ahead must be protecting the incomes of households, and then preparing a recovery plan that transforms our economy and invests in green technologies and alternatives that will enable a just transition.”