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Ferris calls for measures to tackle fuel poverty

29 November, 2011 - by Martin Ferris TD

Sinn Féin’s energy spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD has called on the government to tackle fuel poverty. He was responding to Minister Pat Rabbitte’s claim that the new energy scheme will encourage households to install insulation.

Deputy Ferris said: “I appreciate that the minister regards this issue sincerely and I will wait to see how his proposals last weekend will work to encourage people to insulate their homes properly.

“However, I am not certain that those who already cannot afford to pay their energy bills will participate in the scheme particularly if it is contributing to household debt.

“The fundamental issue is household income and the good intentions to tackle fuel poverty will be nullified by increased energy costs and by the impact of the programme for austerity on the incomes of the working poor – a growing proportion of the workforce – and those on social welfare.

“The minister should intervene with the energy regulator, in the public and social interest, to ensure that public energy companies like the ESB and Bord Gáis do not increase their charges. That is what will tackle fuel poverty this winter.”

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