Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach

Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed)

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I ask the Deputy to allow me to finish my sentence. I hope that their combined income would be such that they would be in a position to claim the relief. Those whose only income is from farming and is below the threshold for claiming the relief will not be able to claim the relief in place for the agricultural sector. The relief is in place to try to offer a degree of relief to those who work in farming and who will be affected by the change in carbon pricing.

As I stated last night during our debate on this issue, I acknowledge that trying to find transport alternatives is a very different matter when one has many public transport options at the end of one's road. I understand and acknowledge that is not the case for some of the constituents to whom the three Deputies who contributed referred. However, on balance, if we do not begin to change carbon pricing and use the proceeds to invest in things the Deputies wish to see happen, we will not make the change we wish to see in our economy and society. Last night, Deputy Naughten referred to things he wants to see happen within his community to respond to the significant change that is under way. The change in carbon pricing will fund these alternatives. We will use the revenue from the higher level of carbon pricing to fund the things he is seeking. I have given a commitment that this tax will not be treated in the same way as other taxes and that the increased revenue must be recycled into communities and to citizens who are affected by the change. Although I understand the issues raised by the Deputies, I am not in a position to accept the amendment for the reasons I have outlined.