Carol Nolan TD has slammed the government on their handling of the energy crisis, saying that Ireland is facing a “drop in living standards not seen in 40 years.”
The remarks were made this week in the Dáil, during a debate on how the State could assist people with the ongoing cost of living crisis.
ANGER HAS REACHED BOILING POINT
“We can safely say that the only temperature that will be rising over the winter months is the temperature of ordinary people’s anger and frustration,” said Nolan.
“That anger has already reached boiling point in many locations throughout the world as people see the collapse in access to affordable heating and energy supplies.”
ENERGY PRICES ARE LIKE “A SECOND MORTGAGE PAYMENT”
The Independent TD continued, saying that gas and electricity payments were almost as expensive as people’s monthly mortgage repayments.
“Gas and electricity prices are fast reaching the stage of becoming the equivalent of a second mortgage payment,” she said.
“Social housing tenants are living in dread of not being able to pay their rent. Older people are being terrified into darkness and cold because of the sheer and utter largely imposed crisis that our own energy policies have created.”
“DESPICABLE ACT OF POLITICAL NEGLIGENCE”
The Laois-Offaly TD blamed the crisis on the government’s “forced march” towards renewables and green energy, “without a proper system of alternatives in place.”
She said that this was “one of the most despicable acts of political negligence and contempt I have ever witnessed towards the lives and businesses of ordinary people.”
“Energy suppliers are leaving the market due to unsustainable costs,” she continued.
“We saw, only yesterday, the announcement by Panda Power that it will be exiting the Irish market, the fourth supplier to do so. This will lump tens of thousands of customers onto higher tariffs at a time of already exorbitant costs.”
EAMON RYAN A “POLITICAL OSTRICH”
In particular, the Deputy slammed Climate Minister and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan for the green policies which she believes contributed to Ireland’s loss of energy security.
“The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has been going around like some kind of political ostrich, with his head in the sand,” she said.
“The Greens, with their spineless allies in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, put their hands to their ears like little children, when everyone with an ounce of cop-on and objectivity was pointing out the sheer stupidity of the current approach to energy policy.
“All three Government parties, through recklessness and mismanagement, have condemned our people to a drop in living standards not seen in 40 years. Government Members should hang their heads in shame.”
IRELAND MUST “REACH EU RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGETS”
However, Deputy Ossian Smyth, who is Minister of State at the Department of the Climate, said that while the government “is aware…that further action is needed” to help people with the cost of living, Ireland had international targets which must be met.
He said that the government would support households, and also continue to develop “indigenous renewable electricity” so that Ireland could reach its “EU renewable energy targets,” “and our own national energy and climate target of delivering at least 80% of renewable electricity by 2030.”