Let’s leave aside the imaginary world of Environment Minister Eamon Ryan. Government grants of €25,000 to the better-off, including homeowners, to insulate homes will drive up construction or repair costs for the rest of us who pay carbon taxes.
I doubt ministers with €140,000 a year or more will tell us to shop around, just as they’ve been telling us for years about insurance prices that are about double for me what my brother pays at the UK.
Gareth Smyth, Louisburgh, County Mayo
Do not isolate the rich at the expense of the less well-off
I Noted in your report on comments made by Seán Fleming (“junior minister apologizes for ‘out of touch’ comment on cost of living”), Irish Independent, February 8) this quote from a high-ranking government source when asked what support the government would use to combat the spiraling cost of living: “We don’t just want to throw money at the problem. It will not work.”
A few hours later, Eamon Ryan announced the Home Renovation Grant Program that proposes to do just that.
There is, however, a significant difference in that the renovation program will recycle public money upwards from the poorest to the wealthiest – those who own houses and have the money to invest €25,000 to improve them.
The many people who do not own homes, and those who do but cannot participate in the program, are hurt to see the taxes collected from them used so unfairly as they struggle to keep food on the table and heat their homes.
Perhaps the quoted ‘senior government source’ could step forward to explain why the government thinks it’s okay to ‘throw money’ at landlords in this way when it’s not okay to throw money at tenants, many of whom are drowning in a sea of inflation.
Jim O’Sullivan, Rathedmond, County Sligo
Saving hundreds of dollars is neither easy nor quick
Minister of the State Seán Fleming has always been one of the “sympathetic” of Fianna Fáil.
His recent simplistic, even wacky recitation of ways to recover “hundreds” of euros for the family coffers can only be attributed to a rush of blood to his head.
Not for Deputy Fleming the cold, calculated hyperbole of the Shinners on any issue, but a “big idea” in his head that has lost touch with reality. Going around the grocery store and changing establishments can be tricky (especially this last one) and not the flick of a switch it seems to suggest.
Oliver McGrane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
How are we going to offset the carbon emissions of a fighter jet?
Yes the Air Corps is buying loads of gas guzzling fighter jets, how many trees will the Green Party want to plant to offset their carbon emissions? (“With the right spending, we can have a respected military force”, Irish IndependentFebruary 9).
As WC Fields once said, “There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.
Karl Martin, Dublin 13
Jail works by keeping criminals away from us
So the Irish Penal Reform Trust would like to see more community ordinances for those convicted of crimes rather than short prison sentences.
While community orders may work well for first-time offenders who do not re-offend or are unlikely to re-offend, the large numbers of people in court who are sent to jail are repeat offenders who have had many chances to reform, but they don’t and won’t.
I would like the Irish Penal Reform Trust to tell me and many others how they are going to protect us from those who regularly commit crimes.
Christy Galligan, Letterkenny, County Donegal
Let us remember the women and unborn children in this debate
IN his letter (Irish IndependentFebruary 9), Tom McElligott asks the Irish media not to “fan the flames of division” on abortion.
It means continuing to ignore the reality of thousands of lives that intentionally end in the womb each year, the failure to promote alternatives for women in crisis pregnancies, and colluding with the “expanding access” of the government to the next revision of the 36th amendment of the Constitution. .
Paul O’Callaghan, Tallaght, Dublin 24