As electricity price increases kick in from today and carbon tax hikes land next month, Senator Lynn Boylan calls on the government to do more for people struggling to pay their bills.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Boylan said:
“The electricity price and carbon tax increases couldn’t come at a worse time. A survey I published shows people are already put to the pin of their collar. The government is failing to do everything it can to help people.
“The experts all agree that unaffordable energy, along with inefficient homes, is one of the main reasons that people end up in energy poverty. Ireland has the fourth highest energy prices in Europe.
“But according to Minister Eamon Ryan, the Department’s focus is no longer on tackling the high cost of energy, but since 2017 ‘has instead been the enhancement of SEAI energy efficiency retrofitting supports.’
“It doesn’t make sense to tackle energy poverty by focusing on inefficient homes while neglecting increasing energy costs. To put it in pandemic terms, it would be like abandoning social distancing measures while we roll out the vaccine. For some, the vaccine would come too late.
“The stakes are high when it comes to energy poverty. On the island, research estimates 2,800 excess deaths over the winter months due to energy poverty.
“Unfortunately, the government currently has no strategy for tackling energy poverty. That’s why we have this lack of joined up thinking. We need an energy poverty strategy urgently.”
- Living in Energy Poverty Report – Senator Lynn Boylan – January 2021
- All-Ireland policy paper on fuel poverty and health – Public Health Policy Centre – The Institute of Public Health in Ireland – December 2007: “Ireland and Northern Ireland have […] estimated 2,800 excess deaths on the island over the winter months.