Ferris proposes safeguards against privatisation in Electricity Bill
The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD, has proposed a series of amendments to ensure that the creation of an All-Ireland electricity market is not used as a vehicle to promote further privatisation of electricity generation. Deputy Ferris has also tabled amendments calling for trade union and consumer representation on the authority and for targets to be set for the production of electricity from renewable sources.
The Kerry North TD said: "Sinn Féin obviously supports the creation of an All-Ireland electricity market but it must be one that advances the interests of consumers rather than the private companies who are interested in acquiring profitable parts of the industry. The history of privatisation from a Northern perspective has not been positive and while we hope to see the single market established quickly, we believe that it is vital that no attempt is made to privatise generation in this state.
"I have also proposed that trade unions and consumers groups be given a statutory representation on the new authority to be established to oversee the proposed market. Again, this would ensure that the interests of workers are safeguarded and that consumers are given a say in an area that is central to the issue of fuel poverty, especially in the light of recent increases in domestic charges."