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Ferris slams decision to proceed with gas increase

2 October, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD has slammed the decision to proceed with the 34% increase in gas charges. The Kerry North TD claimed that the international situation has changed recently with regards to the price of oil and that the massive hike is not only disproportionate but will have a detrimental impact on the living standards of many low income households.

Deputy Ferris said: "The fact that oil prices have dropped by 20% in recent months means that the scenario on which the gas price increase was based no longer pertains. At the very least, therefore, the Government ought to have deferred the move and requested the Energy Regulator to look again at the issue.

"It is generally accepted that fuel poverty is a significant factor among low income families and there is no doubt but that this increase and the proposal to significantly up electricity prices after Christmas will have a massively detrimental impact on low income households.

"I also note the Minister's reference to the need to bring on stream the Corrib gas. I would fully concur but would also point out that under the current arrangement whereby the Shell led consortium have said that they will charge Bord Gáis the market rate, that this would make no difference to domestic prices. Proper use of the Corrib field requires an entire revision of the terms under which it is being exploited by the companies in question." ENDS

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