Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Fuel Prices

8:00 pm

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

Some of those decisions will increase energy prices further by hiking carbon tax later next year. As the Minister mentioned, a number of countries are engaging with the Commission on this issue, the Czech Republic being one. Spain has already slashed the cost of energy bills by 11%. The Spanish Government has done that up until the end of the year. The Labour Party across the water has been calling on the Tories to zero-rate energy bills during the winter period. Britain is, of course, outside the European Union. The European Union itself came forward with a communique on 13 October that allows member states to rebate the VAT collected on energy, as it is conscious that these energy price increases - a 46% increase over the year on home heating oil, 21% on electricity and 14% on gas - are having a real impact on families. The Union is therefore allowing finance ministers, of whom the Minister is one, to take action.

There are two things the Minister can do. He can join others and engage with the Commission to zero-rate these bills for the winter months or he can consider giving a rebate. The €785 million in VAT receipts above what was profiled would well cover the cost of this proposal for the three-month period to which I referred.


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