Dublin city is facing convoys of vehicles converging from all major routes on the City on Monday. ‘The People Of Ireland Against Fuel Prices’ includes Hauliers and others who are furious about the fuel price madness have planned to shut down the City in protest. Michael Martins miserable and ineffectual efforts to deal with the unprecedented soaring fuel prices using the Ukrainian war as an excuse has only served to anger the people.
Eamon Ryan and other ministers have added fuel to the blazing fire of anger by insisting that an additional ‘Carbon Tax’ be added to the already exorbitant fuel prices not realizing that it is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Taxes, levies and excise already makes up the majority of fuel costs amounting to around 65 per cent of retail prices and the government now wants to add carbon tax on top. The biggest beneficiaries of higher fuel prices are the government. An organiser of Mondays protest has stated that ‘The government are so out of touch and so locked into their globalist narrative that they have no real sense of the impact of fuel prices on everybody.’
Protestors Plan of Action
The protesters will gather at points on the M1, M4, M7 and near the M11/M50 junction on Monday at 3pm. Convoys of trucks and every other kind of vehicle will converge from those locations on the City Centre. The demonstrators then intend to park their vehicles in key disruptive city locations. Organisers are expecting that the protest could last from one to two weeks. A supporting march will converge at Dublin’s GPO earlier on Monday.
The Department of Transport in a classic understatement said the potential impact is a “cause for concern.” Gardaí are monitoring developments and are advising people to plan accordingly.
Sink or Swim Time
The organisers are communication through the same Facebook page used for two previous protests that caused considerable traffic chaos in Dublin last year. The People Of Ireland Against Fuel Prices’ group are steadfast in their determination to continue the protest until its demands are met. One commentator said ‘We have no other choice. It’s sink or swim time’. Those taking part are urged to “come prepared for at least one week, maybe even two.” The plan to continue the protest over a considerable amount of time reflects recent prominent “trucker” demonstrations in Canada and other countries. Organisers are telling protesters to come prepared for the long haul and to bring heaters, food, tents and even marquees. They are expecting to come into good weather so that should make it a lot easier for them than their Canadian counterparts.
The demonstrators are demanding price caps on diesel, petrol, home heating fuel and the scrapping of the ill timed ‘carbon tax’. The group have regularly criticised Green Party leader Eamon Ryan on his authoritarian push for the carbon tax. It is now calling for Ryan to resign as transport minister and for the carbon tax to be scrapped.
They are also demanding the resignation of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan. The price caps demanded are €1.10 per litre for petrol, €1.20 per litre for diesel, 65c per litre for green diesel and 65c per litre for home heating oil. The AA’s most recent fuel price survey showed that the average price per litre of diesel was €1.90, while petrol was €1.82. Organisers say: “Dublin will be in complete lockdown and for as long as it takes until our demands are agreed upon by Government!”
The timely protest was planned to minimise disruption by coinciding with school holidays. They are also encouraging anyone to reschedule their Dublin appointments where possible. The organisers are appealing to businesses and the public to provide food and beverages to help sustain the demonstration. They are also inviting those taking part to support local businesses, while voicing concern that “they will be affected by the protest.
Broadening of Appeal
During previous protests the group went by the name ‘Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices’. The group has now rebranded itself to broaden its appeal and to invite others to take part. They are now called ‘The People Of Ireland Against Fuel Prices’. The group says it is not putting forward a spokesperson as it wants “the nation to be addressed” regarding fuel costs. “Majority of vehicles and drivers will be company owned and this is a big sacrifice financially and for the future of their business. Please show respect and show support. We want a peaceful protest so anyone who plans to cause trouble. Please stay at home,” organisers said.
Carbon Tax Madness
A platitudinous Green Party spokesperson said it is “keenly aware of the pressure that the rising cost of living is having on families, particularly those on low incomes.” Marie Antoinette couldn’t have put it better and look what happened to her. The spokesperson claimed that the recent fuel allowance increase from €28 to €33 per week was funded by the carbon tax. That is questionable and this €5 per week increase goes nowhere to make up the shortfall created by additional government increases including carbon tax which will do nothing to alleviate the carbon situation. “Halting the carbon tax would do more harm than good to low-income families as much of its proceeds goes towards tackling fuel poverty,” they said with a straight face. The other government parties also claimed that their so-called initiatives will help reduce the burden of rising fuel costs.
The Marie Antoinette Solution
While robbing the people to destitution the government think the people can be bought off with a one off miserly €200 electricity credit, payment that will be quickly clawed back in multiples. A promised cut in public transport fares is of no benefit to long haul commuters who are being fleeced. From May a payment to hauliers for each heavy goods vehicle they operate is the government’s pathetic attempt to appease them. One off payments are worthless appeasement efforts that will be quickly recovered by fuel duty and VAT. The hauliers can’t afford to fall for that unless they take their vehicles off the road. The Taoiseach Michael Martin said that the temporary grant scheme for hauliers was valued at €18 million. “We will continue to examine what measures we can take to manage the impacts on low income households, as well as continuing to work closely with affected sectors,” the Fianna Fáil leader said. Can he not see that he is offering no solution to the problem? The €18 million that the government will get back quickly in multiples will go nowhere to solving the problem. Meanwhile possibly the biggest disruption to life in Dublin is about to take place while the government offer nothing but one off piecemeal solutions that are no solutions to a problem they could go a long way to solving if they had the will and the inclination to do so.