Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called on the Government to act in support struggling workers and families overwhelmed by the cost of energy.

Teachta Crowe was speaking ahead of a Sinn Féin motion, brought forward by party spokesperson on Climate and Energy Darren O’Rourke TD, that calls on the government to intervene to reduce rip-off energy bills.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Households are struggling to keep their heads above water in this cost-of-living crisis as government continues to prioritise the profits of energy companies over workers and families at every turn.

“Dublin South West TD have an opportunity this week to show that they stand on the side of domestic consumers. They can do that by supporting Sinn Féin’s proposals, which call on government to intervene to reduce rip-off energy costs.

“Average gas and electricity bills have doubled over the last year to the point that the price of electricity here is the highest in Europe and the price of gas is eighth most expensive. There is no excuse for this. Wholesale prices of gas and electricity have fallen significantly – electricity by half – yet there have been no efforts to pass these savings on to consumers.

“As energy companies rack up eye-watering profits, the number of people living in energy poverty doubled over the last year and at its peak was a shameful record-breaking high of 40%.

“One in five Irish homes are now behind on their gas bills – of those 679,000 people that rely on gas to heat their homes, 139,785 were in arrears at the end of December with this rising to 152,276 by the end of February.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the government to introduce a windfall tax which addresses the superprofits of energy companies.

“Government must also provide financial relief and certainty to households by reducing domestic electricity prices to their pre-Ukraine invasion levels and capping them at that level – as has been done in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

“They must also reverse the increase in carbon tax and introduce new regulatory powers for the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities that empowers them to tackle instances of price-gouging and to ensure that it has the resources to do so.

“These are all sensible measures that the government can and must introduce to protect struggling households from greedy profiteering.”