Carthy speaks to SF motion demanding supports for families facing huge energy bills
Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy spoke in the Dáil last week to a Sinn Féin motion which demanded greater supports for families facing huge electricity bills. The motion called for an extension of protection from electricity disconnection and for the protection to those on pay-as-you-go meters.
Addressing Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, Deputy Carthy said:
“A text message that I received yesterday asked me to raise an issue in the House in the discussion on pay-as-you-go meters. It states:
“Can you bring it up in the Dail, when they are discussing the Pay as you go meters, that the emergency credit with Electric Ireland is only €5 which comes off when you put another voucher in? It takes the €5 which cuts off after the €5 credit is used and cuts off, so if we don’t have at least €10 we have no electricity because you can only put €10 is the lowest we can put in. The meter takes the €5 and cuts off after the €5 credit is used up again. “
“Minister, can you imagine €10, that you simply do not have towards the end of the week, being the difference when it comes to being able to make a meal for your family, put on a wash or even switch on a light, never mind a television or anything else that may be considered a luxury by this Government?
“We have to ask ourselves how we have come to the point where the Government and its Ministers, particularly those from the Green Party, aided and abetted, of course, by their colleagues, are willing to say with a straight face that the answer to this couple and others is that they should go to MABS, their community welfare officer or a local charity. This is a working couple. Both the woman who texted me yesterday and her husband work.
“The first thing for which the Minister needs to take responsibility is the actions and inactions of his Government in ensuring that we are suffering this electricity crisis in the first place. There are international factors, of course, but next Tuesday will mark the one-year anniversary of the issuance of a joint statement of just nine EU member states that opposed the decoupling of gas and electricity prices. To his shame, the signature of the Minister was on that letter. He then had the audacity to come before the House on several occasions to state that the Government could not take action at domestic level because it had to happen at EU level even though he had been part of the problem in terms of securing EU support for decoupling and price caps and windfall taxes on energy companies.
“This motion provides the Minister with the route to change course. I urge him and his Cabinet colleagues to take the route it offers and provide a break for workers and families who desperately need one.”