'Citizens Assembly totally out of touch on proposal to charge farmers for emissions'
Calls at the Citizens Assembly to charge farmers for emissions are "totally out of touch" according to Michael Fitzmaurice.
The Roscommon/Galway TD said he had listened with "disbelieve" the views put forward at the assembly over the weekend that farmers should be made pay for the greenhouse gases (GHG) their arming activities produce.
"Such an action would impact seriously on the price of food which would in turn have major implications for the entire economy and particularly the less well off members of our society.
"It is easy to go into the Citizens Assembly and make statements to attract headlines but I wonder did any of these people actually consider the implications of making farmers pay for greenhouse gas emissions."
He said he wanted the members of the Citizens Assembly to tell the ordinary people of the country that they will have to pay extra for their food.
"Tell the people who can hardly afford to pay their mortgages, people who are struggling to send their children to third level colleges, people who cannot afford the rent that they are being charged and people who are homeless."
Professor Alan Matthews said at most 30pc of emissions could be absorbed through carbon sinks and that agriculture accounts for 33pc of GHG emissions in Ireland.
"But it has almost 45pc of emissions from sectors that will have EU-binding targets...and agricultural emissions are set to flatline."