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Green tax to hit rural families hardest

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ECO-WARRIORS living in rural hideaways could soon be having second thoughts about the carbon tax -- the proposed 'green' tax would set them back more than €208 a year if introduced, according to a report just published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The report, which examined how much the carbon tax would cost Irish families, said that poorer households would have to fork up €156 a year for carbon tax, while their richer counterparts would pay €208 a year. Rural families and small households would be hit hardest by the tax, according to the report.

"A carbon tax would weigh more on rural households," said the report. "In the countryside, houses are bigger, distances are longer and more transport is by car.

"Rural households, therefore, tend to use more energy and more carbon-intensive solid fuels than urban households. Children add somewhat to the energy use of a household, but relatively little.

"Therefore, a carbon tax would hit people in a smaller household harder."

Richer families would end up paying only €1 a week more for carbon tax than their less well-off neighbours because they are cuter with energy bills.

The wealthy use only 37 per cent more carbon dioxide, 26 per cent more electricity, and eight per cent more home heating oil than poorer families, according to the report.

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