Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has criticised the Green Party for their “nonsensical, unworkable suggestions” to help people who are struggling with the rising cost of living.
Green Party Senator Róisín Garvey has appealed to members of the public to start car sharing, an idea previously put forward by the leader of the party Eamon Ryan.
Deputy Healy-Rae told Newstalk Breakfast that such suggestions are totally impractical for the occupants of rural Ireland.
“When I hear a suggestion like this being brought forward I would really say to myself, would a politician not have something better to be doing than coming up with nonsensical, unworkable suggestions such as this?
“Because everyone living in rural Ireland will know if it’s practical or feasible, people do this sort of thing already. We don’t need a politician to come along and tell you, ‘This is what we have to do.’
“It is along the lines of Eamon Ryan coming along the other day and telling us to have shorter showers. When you need your own car to go from A to B, you need it to go from A to B.”
However, environmental journalist John Gibbons told the programme that the western world needs to dramatically reduce its use of fossil fuels.
“The thing that the President of Ukraine is asking countries in Western Europe to do is to stop burning Russian oil,” he said.
“So the best way to do that is to burn less oil generally… So the suggestion of car sharing is one way we can import less oil from countries like Russia, like Saudi Arabia that have appalling human rights records, and I’m sure Michael would be with me on that.
“Another thing I suppose is… the AA calculates that the cost of running a private car, when you add in finance depreciation, insurance, tax, serving and fuel costs, keeping one private car on the road every year costs an average Irish family €10,000 - that’s 200 quid a week.
“Now I don’t know, maybe some people are very, very wealthy, and they can afford to do that no problem. But I imagine there’s lots of people listening to us this morning who are shocked to discover that they’re spending €200 a week to run a private car.”