The heat is on the Government to cut energy bills

by Rose Barrett
0 comment

Rose Barrett

The cost of living is now the biggest single concern for low-income Dublin families many of whom may well end up with an “eating or heating” choice.

Shopping trolleys are costing more to fill, transport costs are rising and with the precarious situation of Russia versus the Western world, energy costs are going up and up, and gas supplies may yet be threatened.

The 4.2% in the cost of living during the Covid pandemic has proven to be the final straw for many hard-pressed families who now also facing rising inflation of5.5%.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin this week revealed that a “range of charges” would be considered by the subcommittee today (Thursday) in a bid to ease the rising costs.

Read more in this weeks Dublin Gazette out in stores now

He strongly hinted that they would focus on the area of energy costs and fees charged for State services in the areas of education, transport and health.

One bonus payment that is certain to be made is an increase in the €100 electricity credit. Mr Martin accepted that there had been phenomenal hikes in the price of gas and pledged his government would cushion the blow for families.

As the EU and the Western world support the Ukraine against Putin’s gathering troops, should the Russian leader decide to retaliate and cease gas supplies to the EU, what then? The EU gets over one third of its natural gas from Russia.

Minister Eamon Ryan and the government is expected to introduce energy saving schemes this week – among them, to save energy costs.

Along with a SEAI insulation grant (80%) to help reduce energy bills in the long run, Sinn Féin have called on the cabinet not to introduce a carbon tax in May.

Other suggestions being discussed include a change in taxation to allow some employers to give workers a tax-free bonus up to €1,000; to increase the €100 energy tax credit and to extend the fuel allowance period.

When European governments have been striving to reduce fossil fuels, it would now seem that should the Irish government subsidise fuel consumption, it may well have a negative impact on the environment! 

 SIPTU representatives said they are now “reassessing our pay campaign in order to assist our members in defending their standard of living for themselves and their families. We will be considering what rates of pay increase we will now be pursuing, as well as the possibility of front loading and shorter terms of duration for agreements.”

Related Articles