The government must remove these 62,000 holiday homes from the credit scheme
The government must clarify if it intends to spend more than €6 million on electricity subsidies for holiday home owners, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.
“We know we have a cost of living crisis and the high cost of energy is a major contributing factor. But, it can’t be seriously argued that holiday home owners should be in receipt of government assistance to pay their bills.
“According to the last census, there are 62,000 holiday homes in Ireland. Under the government’s current plan to issue a €100 credit to every household in the country, more than €6 million will be spent providing financial assistance to the owners of these homes.
“The government has stated that it cannot target this support at those most at need as it would be overly complex. That contention is dubious, given the scheme was announced in December and will not be paid until March – a period of four months, during which a more targeted approach could have been devised.
“Even if the government’s argument is accepted, that precise targeting is too burdensome, the same cannot be said for holiday homes. It should be possible for these homes to be identified and excised from the proposed plan.
“There are tens of thousands of vulnerable households in Ireland, many of which are making tough decisions about whether they should heat their homes or put food on the table. The €100 credit for these households, while welcome, does not go nearly far enough to insulate them from fuel poverty.
“The government must remove these 62,000 holiday homes from the credit scheme – and instead divert that money to those most in need. It must also publish plans on how it intends to provide further emergency support to the most vulnerable in our society.
27 January, 2022