Transport options are a ‘shambles’ says Collins

May 8th, 2023 9:45 PM

There are 'major infrastructural deficits around EV charging points' according to Deputy Collins.

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A CONTINUING lack of publicly-available electric vehicle (EV) charging points across West Cork, coupled with a ‘rural’ public transport system, in addition to government’s decision to increase the excise duty on petrol and diesel, has been criticised by Independent TD Michael Collins.

Deputy Collins was speaking following his contribution to a Dáil debate on the Finance Bill 2023 during which he suggested the retention of the current rate of fuel excise duty, as well as a commitment not to increase the carbon tax, which is due to rise on May 1st.

‘Even with the best will in the world, the people of Cork South West and in fact, the vast majority of people in rural Ireland, simply cannot afford to get on board with government’s policy around electric vehicles,’ he said.

‘Not only is it a shambles, but it is the triumph of political rhetoric over a clear-sighted assessment of our ongoing and major infrastructural deficits around EV charging points,’ said Deputy Collins.

‘We know that the battery costs for EVs are extortionate. We know that the grants for electric vehicles are to be cut by €1,500 from July, and we also know that the excise rate on petrol and diesel is going up, which is expected to take €700m out of ordinary people’s pockets in a full year,’ he added. 

He highlighted what he called the appalling levels of rural transport service provision in places like Gortduff, Goleen, Ardgroom, Sheep’s Head, Schull and the Mizen peninsula, as well as the ‘insultingly inadequate’ level of roads funding for Cork county and said the whole lot added up to a pretty dire picture.

Deputy Collins has also questioned how certain TDs can support the government’s relentless push for higher energy taxes. ‘It is not only misguided but also causing unnecessary hardship and financial strain on families, farmers, and businesses across the country,’ he said. ‘Last week a study from EY/Eurelectric injected a dose of common-sense reality with serious concerns about this push for electric cars we are being urged to buy.’

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