Thousands freeze while govt debate fuel poverty in plush hotel

"People need heat, not more government hot air" says Seamus McDonagh

On a day that a major conference on fuel poverty is being launched in Dublin thousands of Irish people are shivering the cold, according to Seamus McDonagh, Workers’ Party candidate in the Meath East by-election.


Seamus McDonagh said that it was ironic that the conference was being sponsored by Airtricity, Bord Gáis and ESB Electric Ireland, three utility companies which are currently cutting off supplies to thousands of people.


“It is hypocrisy for Minister Pat Rabbitte to jointly launch this conference in a plush Ballsbridge hotel today when the policies of his government are driving more and more people into poverty, especially fuel poverty. What we need from this government is action and for it to abandon the austerity policies that are causing hardship and misery for low and middle earners here in Co. Meath and around the country”, said Seamus.


“Pat Rabbitte should reflect on his own role in handing away another natural resource, wind energy and the ongoing bargain basement oil & gas deals with multinationals.  He should also ask himself why Irish electricity prices are 17% above the EU average, a price differential which the ESB & private suppliers blame on the cost of imported fossil fuels!”.


Seamus McDonagh said that the government and other agencies are well aware that fuel poverty is now at crisis level in this country.  “People have died of hypothermia already and more are likely to do so.  The statistics are there, there have been numerous reports from Combat Poverty, Age Action Ireland and others.  People need heat, not more government hot air”, said Seamus McDonagh.


Issued 11th March 2013

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics