Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, has expressed his disappointment at the fact that the Minister for Communications has refused to review the role of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) despite the escalating number of families that have had their gas and electricity cut off.
Deputy Moynihan has questioned the Minister in the Dáil and expressed his concern about the apparent lack of interest being taken by the CER in energy prices that have risen considerably in recent years. This has led to 20,000 homes in Ireland having their gas or electricity cut off last year.
“Over recent months I have continuously asked Minister Pat Rabbitte about the alarming rise in disconnections,” said Deputy Moynihan.
“This has come about as a consequence of the high cost of electricity and gas in Ireland and the hardship faced by many families at this time. In fact, the Minister confirmed yesterday that gas prices reached their highest ever level in March.
“People will remember that our unusually cold spring meant households were using extra electricity and gas to heat their homes and increased prices means there may be even more disconnections this year.
“The passive approach of Minister Rabbitte is a cause of huge concern. His refusal to engage with the CER, whose role is to protect the interests of consumers, is puzzling. Does the Minister realise that families are struggling to put food on the table? Households are going to be hit with an unfair property tax this year, while the Government has failed to adequately address the mortgage arrears crisis. Increased energy costs are adding to the struggles of families and yet again this Government has failed to respond in any meaningful way to help these people.”