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Longford economist calls for new measures to combat fuel poverty

Jun 16, 2022 13:51 By Shannonside News
Longford economist calls for new measures to combat fuel poverty
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On average, households are spending €21 per week more on energy now, compared to January 2021.

The Tánaiste says he's not ruling out new measures to curb rising energy bills, but his focus is on providing supports in the Budget this autumn.

It comes as an ESRI report shows 29 percent of households are living in energy poverty.

Almost one in three households are spending more that 10 percent of their income on energy bills.

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Aine from Roscommon was shocked when her electricity bill came in earlier this year

''It was 500 euro for two months electricity between three people.''

She's done all she can to bring it down:

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''We can only have showers  and hot water in the morning, I work from home so it meant putting on hoodies instead of turning on the heat.''

Aine isn't alone, Dr Tricia Kielthy from St Vincent de Paul says demand for their services is up 20% this year.

She wants targeted measures introduced.

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But Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says that's not the initial aim of the government, who are instead waiting for budget day to bring in measures

Meanwhile a Longford Economic Expert says Government measures are doing very little to tackle soaring energy costs for lower income earners.

Niall Farrell believes changes to tax rates including carbon tax would be of more benefit to society.

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Speaking on the Joe Finnegan show the ESRI representative says the vulnerable must be assisted to combat fuel poverty.

''You can target those who are who are more vulnerable. So that's if you maybe use changes in allowance such as direct welfare changes. So basically changing things like the social welfare bonus, or energy poverty payments, those sort of payments are designed to target those who are less well off. And that means that
for every euro spent, a greater proportion has gone towards those who needed the most.''

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