Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, said that while she welcomes the government’s commitment to implement a scheme to assist businesses impacted by increases in the cost of kerosene heating oil, the exclusion of Liquified Petroleum Gas will be a “hammer blow to rural businesses”.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“For many months Sinn Féin has been lobbying for supports for businesses who use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and kerosene oil to meet their energy needs.
“Businesses with metered gas and electricity are able to make use of the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) scheme to help with bills, however, businesses who rely on LPG or oil, instead of gas, are excluded from the scheme.
“Sinn Féin first raised this matter last year and called on the government to support rural businesses who were left at a disadvantage, due to the exclusion of some of their energy costs from the TBESS scheme.
“Thankfully, after months of lobbying, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment has committed to developing and implementing a scheme to assist businesses which have been impacted by significant increases in the cost of kerosene heating oil.
“While this is long overdue, it is brilliant news for SMEs and microbusiness, and should be roundly welcomed.
“However, there are still significant outstanding issues, namely the exclusion of LPG from the support scheme.
“The Minister gave a commitment to look at the development of a scheme for both kerosene oil and LPG given the dependency on these fuels by rural businesses.
“It is very disappointing that LPG has been excluded and it will be a hammer blow to many rural businesses.
“I would urge Minister Coveney to include LPG in the design of this scheme and ensure it is balanced in terms of its support for businesses, especially rural businesses, who are off the national gas grid.”