Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has rounded upon Sinn Féin and accused them of “hypocrisy” for their opposition to increasing the carbon tax.
Mr Donohoe again signalled his determination to implement a big increase in carbon tax in his next Budget in two week’s time on October 8.
There were heated Dáil exchanges between the Finance Minister and his Dublin Central rival, the Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald.
Ms McDonald accused the Government of “tokenism” and “tinkering around the edges” by relying on carbon tax to advance the action against climate change. She challenged the Finance Minister to use fair taxation to fund a comprehensive and ambitious plan on climate change.
“Tokenism just won’t cut it,” the Sinn Féin leader said.
But Mr Donohoe said Sinn Féin was once again being “hypocritical” about tough choices on funding and taxation. He said the party favoured a broader tax base – but opposed the Local Property Tax.
The Finance Minister added that Sinn Féin also favoured water infrastructure investment – but opposed water charges.
“Tokenism won’t cut it – but neither will hypocriscy,” the Minister hit back.
Mr Donohoe said interntional experts recognised that a carbon was an essential part tackling climate change. He acknowledged that it will hit poorer people but said the Government was looking at ways of dealing with that.