Heat and electricity are basic rights – Sheehan
West Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has contacted energy providers to request that flexibility be shown and a mechanism established to ensure people with pay-as-you-go gas and electricity continue to be connected.
Speaking on the issue, Pat Sheehan said:
“This is a period of great uncertainty and anxiety for people as the COVID19 crisis continues to intensify.
“Many vulnerable and older people are already self-isolating and this has made it difficult from them to access shops to top up their gas and electricity.
“While some can top up their metres online, this is not easily accessible for all everyone, particularly older people.
“With lockdown measures in place it will be extremely difficult for these citizens to top up on their gas and electric.
“I have written to energy providers to request a mechanism be established where the continuation of electricity and gas is guaranteed without the need for metres to be continuously topped up.
“Furthermore, Sinn Féin believe that all gas and electricity suppliers should rule out disconnections for those unable to pay in the current economic environment.
“Absolutely no one should carry the additional fear of going into the dark and cold.
"Access to heat and electricity is a basic right.”