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Flanagan challenges Foster on 'Energy Wise’ campaign.

4 October, 2011 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin Energy Spokesperson, Phil Flanagan following the launch yesterday of the ‘Energy Wise’ campaign by DUP Ministers Arlene Foster and Nelson McCausland challenged the Ministers to take imaginative steps to address fuel poverty.

Mr Flanagan said:

 “I am bewildered at the Ministers presenting this Campaign as something new. What the Minister should have been announcing was forward looking initiatives such as energy brokering, the introduction of social tariffs and the implementation of the Green New Deal. These are the types of initiatives which will make a difference to peoples lives and which the Ministers should be leading on.

“There is no substance to this announcement by Arlene Foster and her DUP Ministerial colleague. At a time of increasing energy prices across the board and the resultant pressure put on household budgets the only suggestions the Ministers can come up with is a regurgitated theme urging people to turn off lights, use energy saving bulbs and install loft insulation. Hardly earth shattering new ideas – a good photo opportunity but no initiative!

“This excuse for a ‘new energy strategy’ will do nothing to mitigate against continued energy price increases or alleviate the increasing incidence of fuel poverty.

“In a recent debate in the Assembly, when I suggested that the Minister should and could do more to deliver real assistance she claimed that there would be an announcement soon from herself and the Social Development Minister on measures that could be taken to mitigate against price rises and help those most in need.

“If this is the sum total of the measures Arlene Foster and Nelson McCausland can produce to alleviate fuel poverty then it I am not impressed.”

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