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Foster must answer questions about Energy increases

17 September, 2008

The deputy Chairperson of the Assembly Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, Sinn Fein West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann has said that the ETI Minister Arlene Foster has serious questions in relation to her role in agreeing to the massive increases in energy prices.

Ms McCann also called on the Minister to overturn the agreement between the Energy Regulator and NIE on the recent price increase in electricity.

Ms McCann said:

"The regulation of the energy market is the responsibility of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster. Yet, she has been invisible at a time when people are asking how the energy regulator could possibly have agreed to the massive increases in energy prices, particularly in electricity.

"Arlene Foster has serious questions to answer in relation to how agreement to these increases was reached. I know that she met with the Energy Regulator and effectively agreed to sign-off on these energy price increases.

"We need to see a decisive response from the ETI Minister. In particular she needs to work with the private energy companies to ensure that they live up to their social responsibilities. Sinn Fein have long demanded the introduction of a social tariff to protect those least able to afford these energy price increases.

"On Monday I submitted a private members notice calling on Arlene Foster to come to the Assembly and explain her role in agreeing these energy increases. It is disappointing and frustrating that to date she has not made herself available to answer these questions." ENDS

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