Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has urged TDs to back his party’s motion in the Dáil tomorrow to ensure households are protected from electricity and gas disconnections this winter.
The motion would introduce a ban on energy disconnections now and provide crucial protections for people who use pay as you go meters.
Speaking today, Cllr. McGuinness said:
“Households across Waterford are facing massive electricity bills this winter. People have been hit by price hike after price hike over the last eighteen months and are worried sick about whether they can keep on top of these spiralling bills.
“The government’s refusal to reduce and cap electricity prices at pre crisis levels is a big mistake. It leaves hard pressed households here wide open to further hikes and to the possibility of disconnection. As families face a long winter, they worry that they won’t be able to afford to keep the lights on.
“The government’s plan to introduce a ban on disconnections from December until February falls far short of what is needed. People can’t wait until December. They need to be protected from disconnection now.
“This week Sinn Féin will use its Dáil time to bring forward a motion to introduce a ban on energy disconnection now.
“Our motion would also give certainty to the many people who use pre-pay electricity meters. Once their €20 emergency credit runs out, pre-pay customers are disconnected by default. Yet, the government still has no real plan to protect these households. It isn’t good enough. Our motion would ensure pre-pay meter customers get the same protection from electricity and gas disconnections.
“The government can and must do much more to protect people across Waterford City and County from spiralling energy costs. The cost of living crisis is unprecedented and people need certainty that their bills will be affordable.
“This is an unprecedented crisis. The government needs to ensure that all households are protected from disconnection.
“The government must ensure there is a ban on disconnections for all customers now and until the end of March.
“Sinn Féin will stand up for ordinary workers and families to ensure that they are protected from the cost of living crisis. People in Waterford can’t keep waiting, they need help and certainty from the government now.”