Laois TD wants to know how €4 billion carbon tax is spent

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

carbon tax

Cost of filling up is going up thanks to the carbon tax.

Government Departments will have to explain how money raised from higher carbon taxes will be spent because none have said where the cash raised so far has gone.

That is according to the Laois TD who chairs the powerful Dáil committee tasked with policing the spending of the public's money.

Responding to Budget 2020 Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming said the issue of carbon tax has been to the forefront in this Budget. He called for transparency in how the Government spends the money raised from increasing the levy.

In a statement, Dep Fleming said that it was unacceptable that nobody can say where the €4 billion collected since 2010 (over €400 million per annum) in carbon taxes has been spent to date.

“It’s important that there be public accountability in how taxes paid by the public are being spent. As Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) I have invited a number of Government Departments and agencies to come before the committee to show how carbon tax is being spent," he said.

Minister for Finance and Public Spending Paschal Donohoe announced a €6 increase in the carbon tax. The increase applied to to diesel, petrol last week but will be applied to other fuels in May 2020.

 Minister Donohoe said a portion of the cash raised would go to the midlands to compensate for cutbacks in Bord na Móna's operations.

Read also: BUDGET 2020 SPEECH

Meanwhile, Dep Fleming also welcomed key measures secured by Fianna Fáil in Tuesday’s budget.

“I welcome the increase of one million home care hours. I also welcome the €25 million increase in the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). This is the fourth successive increase secured by Fianna Fáil as part of budget negotiations. We know that it is working. The inpatient day case list has fallen from a high of over 86,000 in 2017 to just under 69,000 in August as a result of this.

“This budget also provides for an additional 1,000 special needs assistants and over 400 additional teaching posts to support children with special educational needs," he said.