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Gas price increase unjustified - Ferris

10 January, 2007


The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has said that it is his belief that the decision by Bord Gáis to proceed with a 20% increase in the price of gas charged to consumers is completely unjustified.

Deputy Ferris said: "As I said when this increase was first proposed by Bord Gáis and ratified by the Energy Regulator, it should not have been granted for several reasons. The first of these is that the basis on which the company applied for the increase - the then prevailing high price of gas - no longer applies. Global gas prices have fallen by over 60% so Bord Gáis has no business in charging its customers more than they were last year.

"Apart from that, a price rise of this level will cause serious problems for many low income families. Indeed, I am aware of households on what would be considered good incomes for whom energy costs are a significant element of their household budget. However, for those on low incomes, steep increases in gas and electricity prices have a direct and malign effect. Many people fail to meet bills and many more are unable to heat themselves adequately. That manifests itself in serious health problems, which in turn places an added burden on the health services which of course further increases the public cost."

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