Around 700,000 households in Ireland are now in energy poverty as a result of the ongoing European Union gas crisis, MPs have claimed.
Elected representatives from the Rural Independent Group have claimed that 700,000 households have been put into energy poverty, with TDs — the Irish equivalent of MPs (Members of Parliament) — claiming that the government’s continued implementation of carbon taxes and failure to implement any sort of caps have dramatically worsened the situation.
It comes amid claims from Ireland’s Economic & Social Research Group (ESRI) that 40 per cent of households in the EU member-state have been pushed into energy poverty.
Things might be even worse, however, with the organisation warning that even this 40 per cent statistic might not accurately reflect how many households are truly affected by the current crisis, due to limitations with measuring techniques.
According to a report by Gript Media, the rural TDs believe that government is largely to blame for the current dire situation, saying that ministers have focused more on their green agenda than helping ordinary people.
“The failure by the government to cap electricity prices and slash all energy taxes, to give people a break, is unforgivable,” group leader Mattie Mc Grath TD said, accusing the government of having hiked carbon and climate taxes by 150 per cent.
“The impact is driving up energy prices and the government plans to raise €623 million from the tax in 2023,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, the carbon tax plan is solely about taxing money from people’s pockets to raise funds for the government. It has nothing to do with protecting the environment.”
“Clearly, the political establishment and highly-paid government ministers are unrealistic and devoid of ideas. They have absolutely no idea how energy destitution is severely impacting ordinary people,” he added.
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The number of households in Ireland consigned to energy poverty has surged since the beginning of 2022, with many individuals in the country now struggling to deal with record-high rents, driven up partly by mass migration, and rapid inflation that has seen the value of the euro currency tumble.
To make matters worse, the Irish government appears to be prioritising its green agenda policies over helping those in need, with the country’s green minister outright banning the sale of three traditional sources of fuel — namely wet wood, smoky coal, and turf — in late October.
Such policies have done absolutely nothing for Ireland’s energy security, with many fearing the country would see rolling blackouts last winter as a result of the country’s climate policies, as well as its increased number of Big Tech data centres — which consumed nearly 15 per cent of metered electricity in Ireland in 2021.
Blackouts now appear to be an even greater possibility this year thanks to the conflict in Ukraine and associated Russo-Western sanctions war, with Ireland being largely reliant on gas imported from the United Kingdom to keep homes warm and the lights on.
Should this supply for whatever reason be cut off — Britain is facing significant risk of energy shortages itself — Ireland would likely be in serious trouble almost immediately, being one of the few EU member-states that completely lacks any domestic gas storage.
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