A TD has threatened a campaign urging people to stop paying their energy bills unless the government acts to help families and households in need.
The comments from People Before Profit’s Paul Murphy came as government sources signaled that support for energy bill support will be “massive” when it’s officially announced at the end of the month.
But Mr Murphy warned that unless the state took drastic action to cut costs, he would urge people to boycott paying their energy bills.
In the UK, a movement called Don’t Pay has urged people to cancel their direct debit payments for gas and electricity from October 1, with thousands already pledged their support.
The profiteering and price gouging that is going on is absolutely outrageous
Mr Murphy said that while his party is not yet pushing for a boycott, a People Before Profit-backed protest group called the Cost of Living Coalition will consider it if the state doesn’t act.
The group is also supported by Sinn Féin, USI, Students for Change, Access For All Ireland, ESB Pensioners, Pensioners Parliament, Joan Collins TD, Socialist Party, Security Workers United, Unite Dublin Branch and others.
Mr Murphy said: “We believe people would have every justification in the world not to pay; The profiteering and price gouging that is taking place here is absolutely outrageous.
“At this point we are not asking people not to pay, it is not a strategy or tactic that has been adopted by the Cost of Living Coalition for example. We are focused on a major national protest on September 24th.”
Mr Murphy said his party has been calling for price controls and the nationalization of energy companies for months.
“Organizing a boycott would be a more difficult and complicated thing, but if the government doesn’t act on price controls and nationalization, then we will discuss that with activists later,” he said.
At the People Before Profit Think-In earlier this week, the party called for a €1,000 living expense payment to each household, costing €2.5 billion.
Mr Murphy’s comments come as Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reporters yesterday that EU intervention to combat rising energy costs will stabilize the industry.
However, he said the “key intervention” will be the budget and the living package.
“It’s a different kind of crisis [to the pandemic] but if we work together as a society and as a nation, we can weather this very severe storm in terms of exponential increases in energy prices.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/td-paul-murphy-threatens-to-mount-campaign-urging-people-to-boycott-energy-bills-41977779.html TD Paul Murphy threatens campaign to urge people to boycott energy bills