Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has called on the government to intervene to ensure profiteering energy companies pass on the savings they make on wholesale charges to domestic customers.
The Donegal TD was speaking after the Central Statistics Office reported that the annual inflation rate had risen to 8% in February compared to 7.5% in January, confirming that there has been no let-up in the cost-of-living crisis faced by ordinary citizens.
Teachta Doherty said that households are bearing the brunt while energy companies continue to “rake in eye-watering profits”.
The state-owned ESB, which owns Electric Ireland, saw its profits in the first six months of 2022 treble to €390 million.
He said: “The CSO reported today that the annual rate of inflation went back up to 8% in February, compared to 7.5% in January – further proof that ordinary citizens are struggling to keep their heads above water.
“Confirmation this week that Electric Ireland will reduce bills for small and medium enterprises by 10%, starting today, is welcome relief for those businesses. But there has been no let-up for domestic customers.
“This is where people need a government who stands up for them. Instead we have a government who are facilitating these greedy profits.
“Energy prices remain sky-high for ordinary citizens who were dismayed that there were no meaningful measures in the government’s cost-of-living package announced last week to reduce extortionate bills for electricity, gas and home heating oil.”
Deputy Doherty said it is extremely concerning to see the extent of worry and concern etched on so many people’s faces.
“Month on month, week on week, workers and families are being completely overwhelmed about whether they will have the ability to pay their next bill,” he said.
“The government cannot remain inactive on this issue, they cannot abandon people who need help the most, and they cannot keep dithering on introducing windfall taxes.
“They need to intervene now to ensure that energy companies pass on reduced wholesale energy costs to their domestic customers in full, not just a small group of business customers.”