Industry Leaders Call for Reconsideration to Safeguard Sector Viability and Address Illicit Trade
Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland, representing a diverse consortium of industry stakeholders, announces its dissatisfaction with the allocations made in the 2024 Irish Budget. The association contends that the budgetary decisions may jeopardise the stability and sustainability of the solid fuel sector, calling for urgent reconsideration and constructive dialogue with policymakers. Additionally, Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland emphasises the need for a concerted effort to combat the illegal smuggling of smoky coal from Northern Ireland, which poses significant economic challenges.
A pivotal advocate for the solid fuel industry, they have voiced their concerns over the allocations outlined in the 2024 Budget. The association, while recognising the complex fiscal landscape, underscores the pivotal role of the solid fuel sector in Ireland’s energy mix and its significant contribution to regional economies.
The allocations specified in the 2024 Irish Budget, as they pertain to the solid fuel industry, fall short of adequately supporting the sector’s continued viability. Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland contends that these decisions may lead to unintended consequences, including potential job losses, reduced investment in sustainable practices, and an impact on the affordability and accessibility of solid fuels for consumers.
The illegal smuggling of smoky coal from Northern Ireland has far-reaching implications on the Irish economy. This illicit trade undermines legitimate businesses within the solid fuel sector, resulting in lost revenue, job insecurity, and potential closures. Furthermore, it disrupts the equilibrium of fair competition, hindering the growth and development of legal enterprises that adhere to established industry standards.
Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland calls upon policymakers to engage in a collaborative dialogue to reevaluate the allocations for the solid fuel sector and to prioritize measures to combat illegal coal smuggling. The association advocates for targeted investments in innovation, sustainable practices, and responsible sourcing, which are essential components in ensuring a resilient and environmentally conscious industry.
The association recognises the broader context of Ireland’s energy transition goals and remains committed to actively contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable future. By fostering partnerships with regulatory bodies, environmental organisations, and government agencies, Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland aims to align industry interests with national objectives.