Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, has warned that consumers’ pockets will feel the pinch of the energy cost crisis this winter.
He has warned that “if we have an over-reliance on England and France for gas at a time when a bag of coal here could be easily facing into €40, €45 and going on to €50 at Christmas time, people will go cold in their homes this winter because they will not be able to afford to keep themselves warm”.
The deputy is over the view that there is no crisis as “urgent” as this, and it is “something that needs to concentrate the minds of all of us”.
Healy-Rae made the remarks during his address at a Dáil debate on Post-European Council meeting statements on Wednesday, September 13th, 2022.
Energy and food costs over climate crisis
Meanwhile, another Independent TD, Michael Collins, has accused the Irish government of “being the outlier, doing either nothing or much too little” regarding the energy crisis.
He told the house that other European governments are taking “emergency” steps to “shield their citizens from the worsening energy crisis”.
He said that some governments are moving to cut energy taxes, while the Greens in Germany are preparing to re-open coal plants.
The deputy added: “Even Frans Timmermans, the second most senior official in the EU, as Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, has now issued a stark warning to EU governments that helping citizens with the record energy and food costs in each member state must take precedence over the climate crisis.”
“It certainly will not in Ireland. That comes first and foremost. Let Paddy and Mary starve on the side of the road or rob them with carbon tax penalties and VAT on fuel but do not help them in any way, shape or form.”
Moreover, he said the European Commission Executive Vice-President stated that the threat of unrest this winter due to the cost-of-living crisis must be taken seriously by governments.
He said the EU Commission is warning that Europe is in danger of “highly damaging strong conflict and strife this winter over high energy prices” and that member state governments should make a short-term return to fossil fuels to head off the threat of civil unrest.
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