Funds should be targeted at those most vulnerable to energy inflation 

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has called for holiday homes to be excluded from the Government’s universal electricity credits.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s Energy spokesperson, also criticised the lack of targeting in the Electricity Costs (Domestic Electricity Accounts) Emergency Measures and Miscellaneous Bill 2022.

“It is simply ludicrous that up to 62,000 holiday homes will receive three energy credits totalling €600 between now and early next year. Out of the €1.3 billion set aside for energy supports in this package, €37 million will benefit the owners of second homes, who have lower bills than normal households and clearly don’t need the payment.

“This is on top of the €12 million already paid to holiday home owners earlier this year, bringing the total figure to almost €50 million.

“It is not credible for the Government to continue to claim they cannot make targeted payments due to the complexities involved. One year since this crisis was flagged, what exactly have they been doing?

“For the second time this year, we are again dealing with emergency legislation instead of taking a targeted approach to reducing consumers’ energy bills. This is bad planning and bad governance.

“Those families and individuals most at risk of fuel poverty should have been prioritised for the highest energy support payments in advance of this piece of legislation.

“However, the Government seems intent on pushing through a universal scheme that will equally help high-earners and low-income households. Instead of benefitting the better-off, this money should go towards insulating the most vulnerable in our society from energy inflation.”

October 11, 2022

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