Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called on the Government to support Sinn Féin’s proposal to ban energy disconnections from November through to the end of March.

Teachta Crowe said there were already elderly people sitting in shopping centres as they could not afford to heat their homes and that the weather in Ireland does not get any better in February, meaning that vulnerable households need a longer period of protection.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Teachta Crowe said:

“It should not come as a surprise or shock to anyone to hear that every price increase that comes from energy companies puts more and more pressure on struggling households.

“The Minister believes that the proposals he is putting forward are sufficient. The argument we are putting forward from this side of the Dáil is that they are not and that he is not doing enough. Many workers and their families are left wondering how they are going to afford the bills that keep coming into their homes.

“If the Minister wants to come to my area, I can bring him to shopping centres where there are elderly people tonight, sitting in the shopping centres because they cannot afford to put the heating on in their own home. That is happening now, not in December or February, when we will be talking about disconnections.

“The weather in Ireland does not get warmer at the end of February. We are arguing that this ban on disconnections should at least be extended until March. I ask the Minister to look at this and to show some heart to those families.”