Credit: Gript

TD: Govt has “lost touch” with the people on energy prices

Michael Healy-Rae has slammed the government on energy prices, claiming that politicians have “lost touch” with the people.

The comments were made yesterday during a Dáil debate on soaring fuel prices.

“Financial hardship and pain”

The Independent TD for Kerry claimed that the government’s energy policy has caused “a lot of financial hardship and pain” for Irish families as the government coalition attempts to appease the Green Party.

“The public’s interest was never at the heart of the deal done to form this government,” he said.

“It was all about power and self-interest. One example of this financial hardship and pain is the soaring bills for electricity and gas which households have to endure.

“The front page of a recent edition of the Irish Examiner outlined the differences. The cost of filling a car with diesel one year ago was €63; it is now €94. The cost of filling an oil tank a year ago was €450; today it is €761.”

Solution within our control

While he acknowledged that the government would like to say that this was due to factors beyond their control, he said: “That is not true.”

“We have a policy of dependence on renewable energy for our energy supply while not having the renewable sources in place or a plan to put them in place. We have a new policy to close down any prospect of new offshore oil and gas exploration, which could provide a competing source of energy. The government imposes carbon taxes on all energy and heating products and these are to increase in each year’s budget until 2030. The government imposes VAT charges and also imposed a public service obligation, PSO, levy which applies to every household bill.”

“Government lost touch with the people”

The deputy went on to say that these charges collect €400 million annually, which are given to large multinationals for the construction of wind turbines.

“This charge on every household has increased by 123% since Deputy Micheál Martin became Taoiseach,” he said.

“This Government is doing nothing for struggling families. The cost of electricity is going up, as is everything else. What the government is doing makes no sense. It is forgetting the people because it has, quite simply, lost touch with them.”

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