Independent TDs have described the government budget as “very anti-rural”, slamming the fact that fuel and heating costs “have gone through the roof.”
The complaints were made during a Dáil debate on the government’s new Budget 2022.
GOVERNMENT WILL “GET IT IN THE NECK” FROM RURAL VOTERS
Cork South-West TD Michael Collins began by telling the Dáil how upset his constituents were with elements of the Budget.
“This is a very anti-rural Ireland budget,” he said.
“To be honest, reading the many emails I received this evening about the budget from various organisations, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael politicians should be wary when they go back to their constituencies because they are going to get it in the neck.”
He added: “The prices of car fuel, home heating oil and coal have gone through the roof.”
The deputy urged government TDs to speak to agricultural contractors, lorry drivers, and ordinary parents in areas with limited public transport.
“What do they think about the budget?” he asked.
“I can tell the Government they will make it very clear what they feel about the budget.”
He went on to claim that farming organisations and rural people are “furious.”
GREEN PARTY RUNNING THE SHOW
“The Green Party is wagging the tail of this Government,” he said.
“Where better to get the money for its pet projects than from rural Ireland? Carbon tax is a direct attack on the people of rural Ireland.
“The only increase in the budget for farming is being given to animal welfare groups…There is nothing for dairy farmers.”
SOCIAL WELFARE INCREASE A “TRICK”
Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said that while he welcomed an increase in social welfare, it was comparable to a “three card trick”, as the government had also dramatically increased carbon tax.
“They are already hitting people through the massive increase in the cost of electricity, petrol, diesel, gas and the basic things people need to live and move around,” he said.
“The prices have been increasing enormously, particularly over the past 12 months. What has the Government done to help with this? Nothing.”
He added that the Government was “really taking very much with one hand and giving back very little except tokenism.”
GOVERNMENT ARE “ANTI-RURAL THIEVING ROBBERS”
Additionally, Limerick TD Richard O’Donoghue outlined the significant tax increases on fuel.
“I want to give people an account, in case they do not understand, of what carbon tax means for a person living in the country,” he said.
“For every €100 of fuel that is manufactured, do the people of Ireland know what the Government take from that is? The manufacturer of petrol receives €39.92; the local shopkeeper gets €3.08 for every €100 of petrol in a person’s tank; and the Government, which has nothing to do with manufacturing or putting the petrol into the cars, gets a whopping €57 out of every €100 of petrol that goes into every person in Ireland’s car.”
He added that per €100 of diesel, the manufacturer receives €44.38, while the local shopkeeper will get €3.08, or between 4 cent or 5 cent per litre.
“Meanwhile,” he said, “the Government will come away with a whopping €51.94 of every €100 of fuel bought.”
He added: “I often hear people say the shopkeeper is robbing them through fuel. The shopkeeper is not robbing them through fuel; the Government is. They are the most robbing, thieving people and they are so anti-rural.”