Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has ruled out price caps on electricity and gas charges this winter.
And he accused Sinn Féin of “following a Tory government approach” by pushing for a cap on domestic energy bills.
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has just announced a price cap, with Sinn Féin Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty pointing out that it has been approved as a party to the EU toolbox – and implemented by a multitude of member states.
He accused Mr Ryan of having “Tories on the brain” and asked: “Is it because you’re in bed with the Tories here?” – presumably a reference to the coalition with Fine Gael.
“It’s very similar to the Tory party what you want to do,” Mr Ryan said.
“In fact, Jacob Rees-Mogg laid out pretty much the same policy for Northern Ireland this morning. They are taking a Tory government approach.
“I don’t agree with that,” said Mr. Ryan.
“The first problem is that it would actually benefit the better off, who tend to use more energy, who tend to have the bigger houses and who tend to have the highest bills.
“They would benefit most from the approach you propose.
“Secondly, I think the Tory party’s approach would benefit the energy industry.
“It’s something we don’t have to do at this time.
“What we need to do is charge windfall fees and actually give that money back to our people, rather than capping and providing a free pass of whatever amount afterward.”
But Mr Doherty said Austria, France, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Denmark had all introduced price caps to protect their citizens this winter.
The government must act decisively, he said.
“They need to bring electricity prices back down to pre-crisis levels and keep them there to get families through this winter.”
The cap-to-bill was “a simple and straightforward plan that should help over two million homes cut their utility bills and give households peace of mind this winter,” he said.
“In the last 48 hours, the Dutch and the Danes have announced price certainty for their citizens by lowering and capping electricity prices.
“What households are begging for is the certainty of surviving the winter. That’s what a cap will do.”
He added: “It’s the right choice. It is the choice that many countries across Europe are making.”
Socialist Vice-President Catherine Murphy raised the issue of base charges being levied by electricity companies before charges are imposed on the utility.
“A basic fee of sometimes 700 euros is crazy. The base price has nothing to do with the energy price,” she said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/eamon-ryan-rules-out-price-caps-on-electricity-and-gas-bills-this-winter-accuses-sinn-fein-of-following-tory-government-approach-42006675.html Eamon Ryan rules out price caps on electricity and gas bills this winter and accuses Sinn Féin of following the “Tory government approach”.