Banning turf sales should await retrofit of council houses

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Banning the sale of turf would be premature while so many local authority homes still burn solid fuel, Galway TD Seán Canney has said.

Deputy Canney said it’s a “farce” that the government wants to ban the sale of turf, when their is no information available on how many homes have solid fuel heating appliances that rely on it.

The Independent TD said that the Minister for Local Government said that his department does not collate data on heating sources in local authority housing stock.

He said that until enough homes have been retrofitted with alternative heat sources, sales of the fossil fuel shouldn’t be banned.

He added that some 75,000 homes were retrofitted over a nine year period from 2013, but that, “the question is how many of these houses are still using fossil fuels and turf.”

He accused the government of “devising policies and schemes” without having any data for their implementation.

“It is my view that it will take at least ten years to retrofit the social housing stock and it is premature to ban the sale of turf,” Seán Canney said.

“Many families in Local Authority houses are relying on turf to heat their homes, cook their food and provide hot water, until the alternative is in place there is no point in banning anything to do with turf.”