The Tánaiste says the Government will not tell people in rural Ireland they can't burn their own turf or timber in their own fire.
Leo Varadkar made the statement while discussing an increase in carbon tax in Budget 2021 with Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae in the Dáil.
Independent Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said he is not a climate change denier and wants to protect all species on the plant, including the human species.
However, he claimed the Cabinet are signing up to €9.5 billion of additional carbon taxes on a public who are really hurting, which will mean €1 billion a year of additional taxes for the next decade.
Will we say that planes will not be able to fly, he said or will we have to say to people that they will not be able to burn turf or timber in their fires?
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar assured Deputy Healy-Rae the Government will certainly not tell people in rural Ireland that they cannot burn their own turf or timber in their own fire.
He said that would be totally disproportionate and unnecessary, given the fact that air quality is very high in rural Ireland.
Mr Varadkar said it is a different issue in towns and cities where we have a problem with air quality which is impacting on people's health and action needs to be taken.
He said the carbon tax will go up in the budget but most of the cost will fall on business and the rest on households.
The Tánaiste said the money will be ring-fenced to deal with fuel poverty and retrofitting, mainly in rural Ireland.