Carbon levies at new high
Sligo News File
After the uproar following the revelation of a phenomenal €90,000 increase in the salary being offered to the incoming new head of the Department of Health, there is obvious anger over taxes the current government is slapping on hard-pressed families. Nowhere is this more evident than in the extra charges families are being hit with under the heading of the scam called carbon levies.
Take the tax on coal for instance. Ministers used the last Budget to turn up the heat with a levy of €3.55 on every bag the householder uses to keep themselves warm. The purpose of the levy, says the government, is to discourage families from using coal.
Next, peat briquettes. A bale to heat the house will see homeowners handing over €0.76 as a carbon tax on top of the price of each bale. Again, the message is that the tax is designed to stop people from using briquettes.
Home heating oil will cost families around €85 on top of the price and VAT on each 900-litre fill. As with other essential home heating lines, the government says the aim here is to force people to abandon the use of heating oil.
Families living out in the countryside and needing a car for travelling to work, school runs or to do the shopping are being walloped with a carbon tax of 8.5c on each litre of petrol and diesel, this is additional to the price and the VAT already on the petrol and diesel itself.
The jacked-up carbon tax on auto fuel has been in place since last October while the hiked up levies on the rest are scheduled to apply from later in the first half of this year.
So, here it can be seen what trying to cope with the regular outgoings of the family home – especially where rural-based – means in hard cash terms. There’s also the tax they call a PSO levy on the domestic electricity bill. This alone is nearly €90, again, it’s parked on top of the regular charge which incidentally encompasses a regular standing charge and VAT.
If this collectively feels like a mighty big tax bill on families, be reminded that the family home itself is now also taxed with a several hundred euro levy collected by the Revenue Commissioners under the heading of Local Property Tax – it, too, has been hiked by councillors in the last few years. Council rents have as well been swept upwards
Excepting council rents and an item or two, all of this is the decision of the current government, and it’s being introduced while about half a million are on the Live Register or in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, a huge part of the workforce is on barely survivable incomes and many in small businesses and farming are desperately trying to hold on in a near-impossible environment. If TD’s, Senators and Ministers feel they need tens, in some cases, hundreds of thousands in salaries, car allowances and expenses to keep going what makes them believe families and others struggling to keep their heads above water are fair game for the mega taxes, levies and charges they are heaping on their heads?