Declan Breathnach TD Louth (and East Meath)

11th July 2019


Increase in Fuel allowance will help families while curbing coal smuggling- Breathnach

-Government have created an environment where coal smugglers thrive- Breathnach


Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has called on the Government to increase the Fuel Allowance in the upcoming Budget, to help families be able to afford to buy coal legally rather than relying on the black market.


Deputy Breathnach commented “28% of people in Ireland are in Energy Poverty. Unfortunately, more and more people are turning to buying illegal smuggled coal because it is cheaper. A carbon tax increase will only make this worse “


He continued “The Vat rate on coal is 5% in the North but 8% in the Republic. This mean that lorries carrying tonnes of coal here are much more expensive than in the North. Our VAT rate on coal should be decreased to come in line with the North’s rate, or else we are only making the illicit trade more lucrative. “


“100,000-500,000 tonnes of coal are smuggled across the border every year, representing a loss of €36.5 million to retailers. Instead of relying on a carbon tax increase, the Government could generate millions for the economy by tackling this illicit trade. This could then be used to increase the fuel allowance in the upcoming budget, to actually help families who buy their coal legally rather than hitting them in the pocket.”



-Ends- Cathal Haughey, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638) (T) 01 6183549 (Email)