May 17, 2024
Surging levels of energy arrears further proof of government’s failure to address cost-of-living crisis – Senator Lynn Boylan 

Sinn Fein Senator and European election candidate for Dublin, Lynn Boylan, has said the surging scale of energy arrears is further proof of the government’s failure to respond to the cost-of-living crisis.

Speaking after the latest arrears figures were published by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) today, Senator Boylan said:

“The number of domestic customers behind on their gas payments is higher than at any stage since covid or the war in Ukraine. In fact 25% of all domestic gas customers are in arrears.

“While in the electricity market, there has been a 34% increase in the number of businesses in arrears. 

“The government is failing to get a grip on the cost-of-living crisis. Its response has been wholly inadequate, leaving more and more households experiencing energy poverty, and leaving small businesses behind.

“Instead of demanding and legislating for transparency in how energy companies set their prices, they are happy to give them a free rein to charge what they like. 

“Sinn Féin has legislation that would facilitate the regulator having oversight of energy companies’ hedging practices. This is common practice in the EU, and would ensure that claims by companies are backed up by evidence. 

“The arrears data show that we have a real problem with the affordability of energy in Ireland  but in order to know the full scale of the crisis, we need the full picture.  

“It is therefore very disappointing that despite giving me a commitment that they have the monetary scale of the arrears and that they would release it this quarter, the regulator has failed to do so. I hope that there was no political interference in this decision.

“It is clear that the government’s approach is not working and it’s time for change. A Sinn Féin government would lift people out of energy poverty and deliver fairer energy costs for everyone.”

The latest CRU figures can be viewed here.

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