Friends of the Earth estimates that the fossil fuel industry here benefits from about €386 million annually in subsidies.First of all, we need to stop burning peat in an industrial fashion (I actually thought that was finished). I'm with the so-called "Friends" on that one. As for the rest of their alleged subsidies to the fossil fuels industry? Poppycock.
This figure is made up of the share of the public service obligation (PSO) levy allocated to subsidising peat and securing gas supply, totalling €169.2 million this year, combined with fuel allowance payments to low-income households of about €217 million annually.
The fuel allowance to low income households is a government program to assist those on low or no wages. It is in no way a subsidy to the "fossil fuel industry" unless the Friends would rather see our poor freezing in their homes. We can debate the merits of the program and the manner in which its operated without resorting to lunacy. If the poor didn't receive that fuel allowance then, presumably, they'd have to give up some other essential items in order to avoid freezing in their homes. You want homes of the poor (everyone really, no?) better insulated? Sure, let's have that conversation, but stop talking nonsense.
As for the subsidy to secure gas supply, I'd like to see their numbers on that one. I doubt they're rooted in reality.