Lower carbon tax considered for smokeless fuel

A lower carbon tax on smokeless solid fuels is being considered in a bid to encourage more people to use them, according to Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

Carbon tax now applies to coal, turf and peat briquettes, since it was extended to solid fuel products.

Mr Hogan said his department, in consultation with the Department of Finance, would now examine options to reduce the carbon tax liability for smokeless low carbon solid fuels containing coal and or peat.

He said the aim would be to provide a “win, win, win” for the consumer and the environment by promoting fuels that reduced air pollution, helped the climate and minimised the cost to the consumer. The carbon tax adds €1.20 to a 40kg bag of coal and 24 cent to a bale of briquettes. Next year the rate of carbon tax on solid fuels is set to double.

The tax on solid fuels, introduced by the previous government, had been deferred for two years because of the potential impact on lower income households.

Age Action said the Government must act to ease the hardship created by the carbon tax on solid fuels.

“The Government must recognise the greater energy needs of the most vulnerable of older people by providing sufficient supports to enable them to heat their homes,” said Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins.

Mr Hogan also announced at the weekend that an all-island air quality study would examine air pollution from residential heating, particularly from smoky coal.

He said the study was agreed between himself and Alex Attwood, the North’s environment minister, at a recent North South Ministerial Council environment meeting.

The announcement of the study coincides with World Asthma Day.


Lifestyle

I’m giggling but also it is tinged with tension. I peep out from behind the large sycamore. They are three trees away.Opening Lines: I’m just a bearded wheezing giggly man on the ground

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

That an American study has found straight women prefer dad bods (“an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one that is considered attractive”) to six packs and hard shiny abs comes as no great surprise.Outside the Box: Tone down guys, us girls don’t mind moobs

More From The Irish Examiner