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Government Must Implement Key Proposals of the Regional Group’s Energy Supply Security Dail Motion -Tóibín

Speaking ahead of the Regional Group’s Energy Supply Security Dail Motion, co-author of the motion Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín stated;

 

“If ever there was a crisis that highlighted the chasm between the pressure that is falling on the people and the lack of government action, its this one. This crisis has been steadily ramping up week on week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Energy and electricity costs have been squeezing families dry week after week. According to the ESRI up to 70% of the population are threatened with Fuel Poverty this winter. Added to that is the threat to the supply. Savings are disappearing, bills are unpaid, Debt is building and stress is stopping parents sleep at night. The ability to pay for Energy, food, and accommodation, the bare necessitates of life is slipping through the fingers of even middle income families”.

 

“The most frustrating element of this has been the apathy, the unwillingness of the government to help. The government in their laissez faire attitude refuse to pull the levers of change. Its mortifying that the Tories in London have committed to price caps and a windfall tax while our government are still pondering what to do”.

           

“Green party ideology has meant that we are the only country in Europe not to have Gas storage facility. This means that we are seriously exposed to deviations in price this winter or to a cut in supply. Incompetence has meant that Ireland is that last country in Europe to pay Micro generated electricity tariffs. Small Scale wind, solar and bio digestion has still not been paid out on. Minister Eamon Ryan spoke very seriously in measured tones as he chaired a meeting of EU ministers about off shore wind. Yet there has been 7 off shore wind turbine in 20 years of FF, FG and Greens government”. 

 

“The Government keeps laying the blame on the EU. They refused to reduce VAT on fuel citing EU rules that may prevent this. Yet Spain has reduced VAT on fuel and they are subject to the same regulations. The government has refused to decouple the price of non-gas generated electricity from gas generated electricity. Again the Irish government point the finger on the EU and say that they are the competent authority in this area.  Now this is one of the main reasons for the high cost of fuel and for the profits being raked in by some energy companies. Yet the European Commission has allowed Spain and Portugal to decouple the price of gas from that of electricity for the next 12 months”.

“It is unforgivable that this Government will increase the rate of Carbon Tax on fuel this year. Think about it, in the jaws of the worst energy and cost of living crisis in generations FF, FG and the Greens are still increasing Carbon tax”. The Government closed Lanesborough and Shannonbridge without having sufficient capacity in the system. These need to be recommissioned. These should be used to burn biomass. There is enough biomass in this country at the moment to have one of those plants operational. We’re exporting wood pulp at the moment to continental Europe to fuel their power plants rather than our own. Economist John Fitzgerald has called for the abolition of the current licensing for forestry

 

“We need a moratorium on the provision of new data centres that are guzzling energy at the moment in Ireland. Temporarily re-power Derrybrien Wind Farm and ringfence all profits for a local community & environmental benefit fund”.

 

“Since last April the Government & Commission for the Regulation of Utilities have realised that there was no need for the public service obligation to be charged to electricity bills, which has taken an extra €26 out of every single electricity customer’s pocket which will now have to be refunded. Implement a Windfall tax for energy companies who have made supernormal profits as a result of soaring energy prices. Bord Gáis profits grow 74% in the last year. Electric Ireland has raised prices 4 times this year. If you get gas and electricity from them that's €1,300 extra a year. For some gas and electricity will cost €6,000 this year. This despite Electric Ireland is a semi state and made a profit of €679m last year. This is plain and simple gouging by a semi state company of its own citizens”.

 

“These are just some of the steps that can be taken now. We call on the government not just to accept the PMB tonight but to implement it”.

By Aontú Press | 15 September, 2022



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