Sinn Féin call for moratorium on utility disconnections to be extended – Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has responded to news that the moratorium on utility disconnections will be lifted on June 1st.
Teachta O'Rourke said:
“The ban on utility disconnections has been a very important safety net for thousands of households throughout this pandemic.
“The moratorium removed the threat over people’s heads that their gas or electricity would be cut off if they ran into difficulties paying their bills.
“Workers and families are already seeing big hikes in their bills as a result of the increased PSO and carbon tax and the financial difficulties they are facing will not disappear on June 1st.
“We believe the ban on disconnections should be extended, to give people breathing space to meet their repayments, as many people now get back to work.
"Households facing financial difficulty need assistance and compassion during this time, not the threat of disconnections returning.
“Removing this safety net now is not the answer.
“Sinn Féin have introduced a Bill in the Dáil that would give the Minister for the Environment the power to direct the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities to implement a ban on disconnections over the winter months, and during any other times the Minister may deem appropriate.
“We believe now is one of those other appropriate times, given the very high level of unemployment that remain and huge financial challenges people are facing as a result of the pandemic.”