Carbon tax hikes will force up petrol, gas and heating oil prices
Home heating and motoring will become more expensive as carbon taxes are hiked to help tackle dangerous climate change emissions, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.
The Government says investment in public transport and energy efficiency under the National Development Plan will be part-funded by increases in the cost of petrol, diesel, home heating oil, gas and briquettes.
Hikes are likely to take effect from October's Budget, which could include an increase in carbon taxes or changes to excise duty imposed on diesel. The measures were announced at a Project 2040 event in Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre.
Mr Varadkar said capital investment in climate measures was being funded through economic growth, but that community buy-in and taxation measures were also needed.
"Project Ireland provides for an unprecedented investment of €22bn in climate action over the next decade, the largest single package within the plan," he said. "It is only now possible because we have the economy back on track, approaching full employment, an economy that is growing rapidly, with a balanced budget.
"It will also mean carbon pricing and increases in carbon tax, but this will have to be done in a slow and steady way so it does not cost jobs, reduce living standards, or increase poverty."
And in a separate development, it also emerged that almost half of all businesses will be hit with higher water charges under proposed changes to be introduced late next year.
Introducing a single tariff for non-domestic customers will result in some 49pc of businesses paying more, with more than 22,000 of Irish Water's 181,000 customers likely to be hit with increases of more than €250 per year.
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) says there are currently more than 500 non-domestic tariffs in place across the 31 local authority areas, as each set its own charges prior to the establishment of Irish Water.
This has resulted in "significant variations" across the State, with a hairdresser consuming 800,000 litres of water annually in Wicklow paying €2,692 per year, compared with the same customer in Kildare paying €1,392.