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Ferris: Price hikes emphasise the need for radical energy policy

11 September, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Energy, Martin Ferris TD has stated that the recently announced increases in the prices to be charged to consumers for electricity and gas emphasises again the urgent need for a radical new approach to energy policy.


The Kerry North TD said: “The huge increases in the cost of energy will have a massive and detrimental effect on many low income households this Autumn and Winter and the amelioration offered to pensioners will make only a small difference. The fact is that many people, often those most vulnerable from the point of view of health, will not be able to afford to keep themselves warm over the coming months.


“The increases underline the need for the Government to put in place a strategy to maximise the amount of the energy demand that can be supplied from domestic sources. Fundamentally that requires a revision of the terms under which our oil and gas reserves are under the control of multi-national corporations. The increases have been cynically used by some to argue in favour of rolling over to Shell on the issue of the Corrib field. In actual fact, however, if the Corrib gas was to come on stream under the current regime, it would make no difference to energy prices as it will be sold to An Bord Gáis at prevailing market prices.


“The Irish Government needs to intervene in order to ensure that the oil and gas off our shores is used to the benefit of the Irish people in terms of jobs, security of supply and above all the cost charged to consumers and businesses. If it is simply been given away, as at present, then the only beneficiaries will be the likes of Shell and a small number of downstream contractors.”



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