AA Ireland: A LUAS in Cork is needed to get people out of their cars, not a fuel increase

AA Ireland: A LUAS in Cork is needed to get people out of their cars, not a fuel increase
A computer-generated image showing a LUAS system on Washington Street. Pic: 

A LUAS system for Cork would be far more effective in getting people out of their cars than increasing the price of petrol and diesel AA Ireland have said.

The price of petrol and diesel is expected to rise by 2c per litre in the coming days following the increase in the carbon tax in the Budget.

The price of petrol and diesel is expected to rise by 2c per litre in the coming days following the increase in the carbon tax in the Budget. Pic: Mark Renders/Getty Images
The price of petrol and diesel is expected to rise by 2c per litre in the coming days following the increase in the carbon tax in the Budget. Pic: Mark Renders/Getty Images

Carbon tax will be raised by €6 from midnight tonight, raising €90 million euro in 2020, and will be ringfenced to fund new climate action measures, investing in a low carbon future, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said.However, AA Ireland has warned that the increase will do very little to reduce Ireland’s overreliance on the private car, criticising the move as little more than a government cash-grab dressed up as a green initiative.

They said the tax increase will add approximately 2c to a litre of petrol or diesel, equivalent to an increase of approximately €36 per annum in fuel costs for a typical motorist. 

However, the AA warned that the increase alone will do little to encourage commuters to leave the car at home and the government must now follow through on plans to invest in sustainable transport, particularly in rural areas.

“Government have cynically taken advantage of the climate crisis to justify a tax increase, instead of outlining measures which would actually lead to reductions in our carbon emissions."

"Investing in public transport infrastructure, LUASs like systems across our main cities, quality cycle lanes, all these measures would do far more to get people out of the car than a tax increase ever will.” 

“Fuel prices naturally fluctuate as a result of international factors and, if you go back to 2014 and 2015, we were seeing prices in the low-to-mid 1.50s for a litre of petrol with these high prices having no impact on car usage as many simply didn’t have an alternative, Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs.

"Increasing the price today and in future years through increases to carbon tax will only achieve one thing, which is to generate additional revenue for government without having any impact on our over-reliance on the private car."

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