Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport Darren O’Rourke today called for a freeze on energy prices during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Meath East TD’s comments come as over one million electricity customers now face higher prices this winter after Electric Ireland announced it was increasing prices from October.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Rourke said: “The last six months have been incredibly difficult for people, with many losing their jobs and seeing their household income collapse.
“Families are really struggling to make ends meet, with hundreds of thousands of people reliant on state income support, and many others working reduced hours.
“The last thing people can afford now is higher electricity bills as we move into the winter.
“This move by Electric Ireland will add further financial pressure to families and we believe a freeze on energy prices during the current Covid-19 pandemic should be introduced.
“According to Eurostat, consumers in Ireland already pay some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, while Social Justice Ireland highlight there are as many as 400,000 people living in fuel poverty here.
“The government are also planning a significant hike in the carbon tax in the upcoming budget, which will further increase the energy bills of families when they can least afford it.
“I would urge Electric Ireland to reverse this decision, given the current unprecedented challenges people and businesses are now facing.”