Sinn Féin rejects populism claim as it opposes hikes to carbon tax
Sinn Féin has rejected suggestions of a populist vote grab after its European Parliament candidates came out against carbon tax hikes.
The party has also claimed it will be "Euro-critical" not "Eurosceptic" in seeking "radical reform" of the EU.
The party's candidates assembled in Dublin yesterday for the launch of its European election manifesto.
Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and other parties agree that increases in carbon tax - combined with measures to mitigate the impact on household finances - are required as part of the fight against global warming.
But Sinn Féin opposes the move and pledged it would fight for "no carbon tax hikes" in its manifesto. Decisions on any increases are set to be made in the Dáil. Outgoing Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan did not offer an explanation on how such rises might be opposed in the European Parliament.
But she insisted: "Our position on the climate tax is based on evidence ... it's nothing to do with populism."
Ms Boylan argued that such taxes have not worked elsewhere in reducing carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, party leader Mary Lou McDonald said there' was "no contradiction" between her party's plan to be "Euro-critical" while others in its European grouping, the GUE/NGL, are Eurosceptic.
She said Sinn Féin recognised that Ireland's place was within the EU but also argued the European project had "lost its way".