Govt must use all powers available to support people through the energy crisis
Questioning the Taoiseach in the Dáil today, Labour leader Ivana Bacik said people need State intervention to tackle spiralling energy prices.
Urging Government to take a three-pronged approach to safeguard against huge bills, Deputy Bacik said radical thinking is needed, calling for consideration of the nationalisation of the Corrib gas field.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Emergency times call for emergency measures. People cannot be kept in the dark about the measures this Government will take to tackle the extraordinary energy bills people are facing this winter.
“We are demanding swift and immediate action from the government to take the pressure off and alleviate the hardship that these obscene and outrageous energy price hikes are inflicting upon people. We believe that, as a starting point, a three pronged approach should be adopted by government, involving a windfall tax on excessive profits, an immediate maximum price cap on energy bills and the extension of the fuel allowance for low and middle income people and families. These represent significant measures which will help to get people through the winter and beyond.
“Again today, the Taoiseach sought to blame international forces for this cost of living crisis. Yet we know that about one quarter of Ireland’s gas consumption comes from the Corrib gas field. Vermillion’s revenues last year increased by 267% – I can’t imagine the profits made this year. The cost of production has not increased but the price of the gas it supplies is now costing multiples of what it did a year ago.
“Government must consider nationalising Corrib on a temporary basis. Doing so would give households greater certainty on their heating bills for the winter ahead.
“The market is clearly out of control. We need a Covid-style emergency response from the government that will keep people warm this winter. Government Ministers are on the record as saying that these price hikes are unprecedented – so an unprecedented, urgent and short term response by government is needed. Nothing less is good enough.”