May 6, 2020
Big utility companies should not demand early termination payments from small business – Martin Kenny

Martin KennySinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal, Martin Kenny, has called on communications providers and utility companies not to seek to make profit from businesses closing down due to COVID-19.

Speaking in his constituency today, Deputy Kenny said:

“I have been approached by constituents asking for me to intervene with phone companies and electricity and gas providers who are demanding payment of early contract termination money, on top of what they are owed in bills, from failing companies.

“There are hundreds of small companies which had very low profit margins, which will not open again after this crisis. Some are taking the hard decision to close down now, rather than wait for an end to restrictions.

“Some of these businesspeople have told me that they had no debts to landlords or suppliers, but that the utility and phone companies are demanding hefty payments from them for breaking their contracts.

“I am calling on these companies to bill these people what they owe in their normal bills, but to write off the early termination payments on contracts.

“People are already in a stressful situation and are trying to tie up loose ends and move on.

“A reasonable approach for huge companies dealing with small businesses would be to accept payment for outstanding bills or supplies and call it quits.”

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