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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Households hit with €3bn tax burden over emissions

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Ireland's households are paying 61pc of all environmental taxes, despite producing only one-fifth of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

New CSO statistics showed greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.7pc to 59.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2014 to 2015.

In 2015, greenhouse gas emissions by the industry sector constituted 33.9pc of total greenhouse gas emissions, while emissions by the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector were 33.3pc of the total.

The household sector was third largest in terms of gases emitted at 22.1pc - but paid €3.1bn in taxes in 2017, almost two-thirds of the overall bill.

The figures were part of the Central Statistics Office Yearbook of Ireland.

It showed some 2,255,000 people are now in employment across the country, but that poverty is increasing.

Average annual total earnings in Ireland were €37,646 in 2017, up from €36,920 in 2016.

This comprised of €34,620 regular earnings (92pc), €2,011 irregular earnings (5.3pc) and €1,016 overtime earnings (2.7pc).

The employment figures were not all full-time jobs, which accounted for 79.8pc of the total.

Of the 2.2 million, there were 1,798,700 in full-time employment this year, while there were 456,300 working part-time.

Joblessness decreased by 10.1pc between 2017 and 2018, but some 21pc of the population are experiencing enforced deprivation, according to the data.

This is defined as not being able to afford two or more basics, such as going without heating in the past year, or a meal with meat, chicken or fish every second day.

The deprivation rate for those defined as at risk of poverty was 50.7pc.

According to 2016 statistics, €891.70 was the average household disposable weekly income, rising from €836.44 in 2006.

But this figure was just €457 a week for an individual in 2016 compared to €406.84 a decade previously.


The percentage of people who were classified as overweight or obese in 2015 was 60pc. This had risen to 62pc in 2017.

The expected number of healthy life years for a person born in Ireland in 2015 was 67.3. This was an improvement on 2014, when it was 66.9. There has been an upward trend in the number of healthy life years since 2006.

The CSO data showed that the US was Ireland's largest export partner, accounting for €33.2bn of goods in 2017, or 27pc of total exports.

Despite Brexit looming Britain remained the largest export market in the EU, accounting for €14.5bn in 2017.

Including exports to Northern Ireland, the UK comprised €16.4bn of exports in 2017.

The value of exports to the UK has increased by €2.7bn since 2014, but the share of total exports to the UK has fallen from 15pc to just over 13pc.

Meanwhile, there was an increase of 106.5pc in homes built across the State from 2011 to 2017, despite the housing crisis.

CSO data showed new dwellings increased from 6,994 in 2011, to 14,446 in 2017.

The number of new apartments built in 2017 was 2,264, a rise of 92.3pc on 2016.

The county with the most new dwellings finished in 2017, with 5,602, was Dublin.

Some 39.3pc of the population have a third-level qualification in 2018.

More than one-in-three (35pc) men aged 15-64 have a third-level qualification, compared to more than four in 10 women (43pc).

Irish Independent

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