West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Social tariffs needed to cushion impact of spiralling energy costs

Published: 6 September, 2011

"The latest major price increases from these energy providers come at a time of year when we normally see an increase in the price of home heating oil. When this is added to the energy prices hikes we have already witnessed over the past three or four years combined with overall increases in the cost of living fuel poverty will become an even greater problem in more and more homes this winter as a greater proportion of each household budget goes towards energy costs.
"Given today's revelation that the Chief Executive of Phoenix Gas received the obscene amount of £700,000 last year and undoubtedly similar rates of re-numeration are in place for the directors of this and other energy utilities, customers will be undoubtedly questioning how these massive hikes can be justified and the Energy Regulator must now investigate how these massive price hikes for consumers can be justified in this context.
"Howver, in terms of the overall issue, we need to be looking to work along with energy companies to bring forward a policy to introduce social tariff schemes.
"A social tariff would put in place reduced pricing for those on low incomes and pensioners. Pensioners are already facing the prospect of cuts to the Winter Fuel Payments as a result of Tory cuts I believe we should also look at the 26 counties where older people have significant support when it comes to energy costs.

"Energy companies also need to ensure that they protect the most vulnerable people in society from any threat to having their electricity supply cut off." ENDS