Wednesday, 27 February 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
No, I will let her do that. I am very pleased that after a long campaign on my part, initially raising it in this House and the Leader bringing the matter to the Minister, today members of the National Transport Authority, NTA, appearing before the transport committee, are suggesting that we supplement taxis and hackneys in the country to work the country's less profitable shifts. I have been calling for that consistently so I am extremely pleased. It will have major implications for Cavan, Monaghan and all rural areas where there are dispersed populations.
I have a different request now for the Leader. I ask him to invite the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Bruton, to the House to discuss the climate change agenda. Central to that is the need for the next Common Agricultural Policy to incentivise and support farmers to green their activities and continue environmentally friendly activities, to expand the green low-carbon agri-environment scheme, GLAS, and so forth. That must be in the next Common Agricultural Policy and we should discuss it with the Minister, Deputy Bruton.
However, the main issue I wish to raise with the Leader and with the Minister, Deputy Bruton, when he comes to the House is electric cars. First, we need an infrastructure for them. We must have more and better charging points. I have a new proposition in that regard, which is that we should incentivise young drivers with an extra amount of money or a grant, and it would not be expensive on a national level, to make their first car an electric or hybrid car. The reason is that if a young person's first car is an electric car he or she will develop a green environmental consciousness and a pride in the electric car. That will expand to other facets of the person's life. The person will seek to have solar panels on his or her house and to do other things in the climate change area. I am specifically proposing, first, that we give a special incentive of extra money to young drivers to drive an electric car as their first car, second, that the Minister be invited to the House to discuss that and, third, that when we put a major focus on the infrastructure for electric cars and grant aiding young people to have them we also support the next Common Agricultural Policy having a very green dimension and decent money for farmers to do what they love, preserving the environment.