ESB Public Service Levy outrageous in current climate – Ó Snodaigh
Speaking at a protest at Leinster House today Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the Government must instruct the ESB to stop disconnecting customers who are making genuine efforts to pay their bills and to get rid of the exploitative disconnection and call out charges.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said the decision to introduce a Public Service Obligation Levy in the current climate is outrageous.
“The ESB is a highly profitable and popular company which has provided a good service to Irish people over the generations.
“However, recently it has been acting despicably towards its customers who are struggling to keep up with payments as a result of the current economic environment.
“Customers have been cut of at a rate of 900 per month and, to ad insult to injury, they have been charged €97.61 for the pleasure of a call out and a further €174 for the disconnection and reconnection once the bill has been paid.
“This is a shameful way to treat struggling families and others struggling to pay their bills. And furthermore, the decision to introduce the Public Service Obligation Levy in the current climate is outrageous.
“On the one hand they are cutting people off for not paying their bills but on the other they are increasing their rates. The result of this can only be more people failing to make their payments and even more disconnections.
“As a semi state company the Government has an obligation to ensure that these practices are halted. In fact, as the Government of this state there is an obligation on them to protect people from these exploitative practices.
“We are demanding an end to the practice of disconnecting customers who are making genuine efforts to pay their bills and an end to the exploitative disconnection and call out charges.” ENDS