Business Budget 2020

Monday 14 October 2019

'It's not a cash grab' - Paschal Donohoe defends carbon tax increase as he says there's a 'good chance' it'll be repeated for a decade

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arrives at his department ahead of delivering Budget 2020. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arrives at his department ahead of delivering Budget 2020. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

MINISTER for Finance Paschal Donohoe has denied claims that the increase in carbon tax amounts to a 'cash grab' to fund increases in public spending.

Mr Donohoe has also signalled that there is a "good chance" the €6 increase in carbon tax announced in today's Budget will be repeated in every Budget between now and 2030 in order to reach the €80 per tonne target that was set out in a cross-party report on tackling climate change.

Speaking at a press conference in Government Buildings this evening, Mr Donohoe said that "every cent" of new money raised in carbon taxation increases will be going back into measures that tackle climate action and rejected suggestions it amounts to a 'cash grab'.

READ MORE: Budget 2020: Petrol and diesel prices to be hiked tonight as €6 carbon tax increase deemed a 'cash grab'

He said that €34m of money raised from the carbon tax increase would support the most vulnerable citizens impacted by the climate change measures, while €31m will fund measures to retrain workers in areas of employment that will go as a result of the transition away from fossil fuels.

"All of the rest of it is going into more sustainable forms of transport," Mr Donohoe said. "Far from it being a cash grab, the money that is being raised from this is being put back into things that matter for climate action."

Mr Donohoe said that the latest developments in the Brexit crisis justified the government's decision to pursue its Budget negotiations on a no-deal basis.

He said that tax cuts "would have been the wrong decision to make".

READ MORE: Budget 2020: Ministers fear carbon tax backlash in rural Ireland as fuel costs set to rise

On the criticism that there was little in the Budget announcement today for renters, Mr Donohoe said the main focus was on ensuring that more homes and apartments are being built.

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