Two Tipperary TDs have expressed their concern about the cost of Ireland’s energy supplies heading into the winter.
Labour Leader Alan Kelly and Independent Mattie McGrath have been calling for increased focus in the Budget on escalating costs of electricity, gas, and fuel.
Responding in the Dáil, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar acknowledged the issues, but says that wholesale energy prices aren’t expected to continue rising indefinitely.
Deputy Kelly believes that the Government is facing a “winter of discontent” if it doesn’t take action:
“Energy suppliers are rapidly increasing their prices in recent weeks. Energia’s latest increases are 15.7 percent for electricity, and 18.5% for gas.
“Lots of families are worried about these price increases, and how to heat their homes. So I want to ask you the following, Tánaiste, if there’s a cold snap this winter can you actually guarantee that we will have enough supplies of gas to keep the lights on and the radiators warm?”
Deputy McGrath is calling it an “energy crisis” which must be dealt with now:
“Efforts must be made in the budget for people on social welfare, old age pensioners, carers and indeed all households suffering from fuel poverty, which they will be. You must take swift action.
“Price increases of this magnitude and frequency are totally unsustainable. It’s creeping up, you can see the (fuel) pumps when passing by. Something has to happen here. The regulator must be prodded to wake up.”