Deputy Bacik Critical of Tokenistic Electricity Rebate
Speaking in the Dail today on the Electricity Costs Bill, Deputy Ivana Bacik criticised the government’s proposed €100 electricity bill rebate as being tokenistic, saying that:
“A once-off €100 electricity credit is simply insufficient – a mere drop in the ocean for hard-pressed households. We know that the cost of living has increased dramatically in recent months, and the cost of electricity and gas in particular.
“Wages have not risen accordingly. Workers on low pay and those in receipt of the minimum wage have been affected most of all. The government must move Ireland’s minimum wage of €10.50 per hour up to an hourly Living Wage of €12.90.
“The Labour Party is not convinced that the government understands the scale of the crisis at hand when it brings forward proposals such as this. A much more targeted and strategic approach must be taken – we need co-ordinated measures to tackle the dual problems with rising costs of living and the climate crisis. In our alternative budget, Labour called for a new carbon tax credit, worth €200 a year for households with incomes below €50,000 and a low energy rating.
“This would have been a more favourable measure than this confetti approach being taken by government. A package of targeted measures to tackle the cost of living should also include a three-year rent freeze and cuts to public transport prices.
“The reality of low pay and job insecurity experienced by far too many is further exaggerated by current inflation figures. People should never have to make a call between paying for food and paying the bills, but that is the reality for a great many people and we are just not seeing the sort of ambition from government that is badly needed.”