Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Committee on Budgetary Oversight
Budgetary and Fiscal Implications of Climate Change: Discussion
My final question is for the Department. I am conscious time is running out. The Department has been quiet on the first two questions. I thank Mr. Maughan for presenting his evidence to the committee. I smiled when I read the first page of his opening statement, which suggested there would be quarterly reporting on delivery. I am sure all of us will be looking forward to that. The criticism of yesterday's publication is that we do not have any costings or a clear process for implementing the plan. We have no idea, therefore, how the Department proposes to implement it. It is very much aspirational in parts. It sounds lovely in parts but very expensive. I would like Mr. Maughan's response to what Professor Fitzgerald has said, namely, that it would be nice to have costings. How does he propose to implement the plan? What is his view on how the carbon tax regime should be implemented? I acknowledge that he does not want to dwell on additional revenue that could be raised through the carbon tax but, as a committee, we consider revenue-raising measures, where revenue should be spent and how it can best be used to serve citizens. We very much dwell on where the money will be used. It would be interesting to hear the Department's views on how the carbon tax should be implemented and where the revenue should go. Should it be handed back in a lump sum? Should the tax be recycled? Should it be used to pay off the national debt? This was one suggestion, although I am not sure the latter would have a benefit in the broader sense.
Am I correct that there is a target of 1 million electric vehicles by 2030? Is that even possible given there are fewer than 5,000 currently?