Nine things to look for in Budget 2024

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Friends of the Earth was involved in three joint statements in the run up to Budget 2024 that highlight the growing cross-sections of civil society calling for targeted investments in faster and fairer climate action and the protection and restoration of nature. Here’s what we’ll be looking out for in Budget 2024 on Tuesday.

Tackle energy poverty and leaky homes

A joint statement by 32 social and environmental NGOs including SVP, Threshold, Age Action and Social Justice Ireland called for various actions that would move towards “warm homes for all”. What to watch out for:

  1. Will the Government broaden the eligibility for the Fuel Allowance to include households on the Working Family Payment? This would also give them access to the Government’s 100% free retrofit scheme. 
  2. Will there be an increase in the Fuel Allowance rate?
  3. Will there be extra funding for retrofitting social housing? The current plan is to retrofit just 25% of social homes by 2030. Campaigners are calling for the Government to prioritise retrofitting all social homes by 2030, something which 76% of the public supported in a recent Ireland Thinks poll.

Invest in state capacity to deliver clean electricity while protecting nature

In an unprecedented joint statement two renewable energy industry associations, Wind Energy Ireland and the Irish Solar Energy Association, joined with leading environmental NGOs to call for a step-change in Government investment in environmental capacity at both state and civil society level to address the biodiversity and climate crises. What to watch out for:

  1. Will the Government increase funding for staff in relevant state agencies and departments to ensure that they have enough ecologists, for example, to progress their planning and regulatory work on a zero-carbon electricity system in a timely fashion?
  2. Will there be a dedicated new funding stream to support training and upskilling of existing staff in public bodies involved in carrying out environmental impact assessment?
  3. Will there be a new funding stream for science and research focused conservation organisations so that they can meaningfully engage in ecological research, active conservation, infrastructure consultation and planning processes?

The renewables industry also supported the core demand of the Environmental Pillar, the advocacy arm of the network of national environmental NGOs, which is the following:

Create a Climate and Nature Restoration Fund

  1. Will the Government use some of the budget surplus from windfall corporation taxes to create a Climate Nature and Restoration Fund? 

The 32 organisations in the Environmental Pillar called for the €8 billion to be put into such a fund, to finance future investments in climate and nature infrastructure. This would ensure the next Government continues to have the means to fund the actions we need to slash emissions and restore nature.

Other things to watch out for from the Environmental Pillar’s pre-Budget statement:

  1. Will NPWS funding and staffing increase again so it can coordinate the national response to biodiversity loss?
  2. Will the government provide new funding, above and beyond the Common Agricultural Policy, to support farmers to restore nature in line with the Government’s own targets and the likely obligations under the EU’s forthcoming Nature Restoration Law. This funding may well need to be more than €300 million a year as the decade progresses. 

Carbon tax and excise duty 

A scheduled increase in the carbon tax will add 2c to the price of a litre of petrol and 2.5c to a litre of diesel. However, it is expected that the Government will delay the final restoration of the reduction in excise duty on fuels introduced last year, which was due at the end of the month ( worth 8 cents on petrol and 6 cents on diesel). In effect what this means is that entire carbon tax increase on motor fuels over the four budgets introduced by this Government have been offset by the reduction in excise duty.

There is no increase in the carbon tax on home heating due until next May.



Energy poverty

Joint statement :

Press release:

Renewables Industry

Joint statement:

Press release:

Environmental Pillar


Press release: