Coal Merchants Dublin make Pre-Budget Submission

Coal Merchants Dublin.

 
 Below is a copy of the pre-budget submission made by Coal Merchants, Dublin to
 Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Pre-Budget submission by

Crumlin Fuel Depot,

Coal Merchants Dublin.

 
 
Dear Minister Noonan.

I have been a coal merchant in Dublin for more than 30 years now. I have a small family run business which works extremely hard to service the home heating needs of our many customers right across all areas of the south-side of Dublin. During that time I have faced many challenges in business. I have faced into the difficulties that the 80s/90s brought, including the crippling currency crisis at that time. I witnessed first hand the devastation that mass unemployment, mass emigration, and total despair that that period brought to all areas of Dublin, the same devastation and despair that was of course replicated throughout the entire country. As a Dublin coal merchant, at that same time I faced head-on the challenge of the ban on bituminous coal in Dublin and the other main centres of population in Ireland. The difficulties that the ban brought to my customers as a whole, but especially my older customers who depended entirely on their open fire/back-boiler for their home heating needs cannot be overstated. However, over the recent past coal merchants in Dublin have continuously worked to bring the cost of smokeless fuel down to it’s now affordable level.

The Celtic Tiger brought many welcomed changes. Many families found themselves in the financial position to be able to afford to have gas or oil fired Central Heating installed in their homes. Meanwhile, the unquantifiable yet sizable bi-monthly gas bills, or the huge cost of the regular tank fill of oil held no fear for large sections of the population. Unfortunately, as we all now know, that ship has sailed and we are all facing a new reality.

Throughout those 30 years or more, I have witnessed the varied economic changes and financial challenges faced by a small family business such as my own. Indeed, as a founder member and chairperson of Crumlin Village Business Association, I have witnessed at first hand the many challenges faced by small local business’ in general.

Dublin Coal Deliveries

However, the level of despair today among many of my customers is very different. In the 80s/90s I witnessed a kind of acceptance, almost an approval of the difficult situation that we all had to face. But now I see a hopelessness, a futility, and a genuine dread and fear of what the immediate future may hold. Along with my regular, older customers who continue to buy a bag of smokeless coal and a couple of bags of logs each week, I am also now seeing the return of customers who had installed gas or oil fired heating during the Celtic Tiger. These are ordinary people from every section of society who are now struggling to cope with the reduction in their income.  The warm and welcoming glow of the open fire is now very often the easiest and only option for most. As I go about my coal deliveries in Dublin, it is just dreadful for me to see an older person sitting in the freezing cold in their own home in the afternoon, afraid to put on their heating that day in fear and trepidation of the increasing gas bill that they will face in the next couple of months. Unfortunately, this has now become a daily occurrence for many. In these most difficult times of austerity,  the open fire & solid fuel stove are the only means of home heating where “Fuel Poverty” is greatly alleviated by the availability of more easily managed small purchases of fuel. From a bale of briquettes or a small handy-pack of coal from the local store or garage forecourt when necessary, to the large bag of coal delivered weekly by the trusty Dublin Coal Merchant, it is for many the only affordable, manageable method of keeping warm at home during winter. Any increase in taxes now is sure to increase levels of fuel poverty right across the country.

It is with this in mind that I implore you not to impose an additional cost on smokeless coal supplies, or add to the 13.5% VAT rate. Please do not add to the burden on an already struggling householder trying so hard to heat their home this winter.

 

Thanking you in advance,

 

Robert Hudson,

CRUMLIN FUEL DEPOT,

Coal Merchants Dublin.

Return to coal merchants dublin Home page

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,