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Source: Sinn Féin

1 December, 2020 – by Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate, Communications Networks and Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has said the recent hike in the electricity PSO levy is hitting businesses and families when they can least afford it.Teachta O’Rourke called for the ban on electricity and gas disconnections to be extended, as the current moratorium lapses today.Speaking today, the Meath East TD said;“In a year when businesses and families can least afford it, the electricity PSO has been hiked by a scandalous 130%.“Businesses who have been closed for weeks and months are now getting hit by massive electricity bills, with standing charges, capacity charges and the increased PSO levy, despite using no electricity when their doors were closed.“Families who are struggling to get by, are now receiving electricity bills ahead of Christmas which includes a PSO levy that has more than doubled.“Combined with the recent 30% increase in the punitive carbon tax, the cost of keeping your home warm and the lights on this winter has skyrocketed.“Sinn Féin raised this with the Taoiseach before the PSO was hiked in October and asked him to put a stop to it, but this plea fell on deaf ears.“This 130% hike in the PSO along with the carbon tax will result in more people struggling to meet their bills and increase the risk of getting their supply disconnected.“The moratorium on domestic electricity and gas disconnections lapses today and this needs to be extended by the Government and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities.“The financial hardship faced by thousands of people as a result of the pandemic and resulting restrictions will not end today, and so neither should the moratorium.“I’ve published a Bill that would give the Minister the power to ban disconnections throughout the winter months, which is more important than ever this year given the pandemic.“Last year 5,008 electricity and 2,424 gas customers were cut off for non-payment. We can’t have a situation where those facing financial difficulty have their gas or electricity cut off in the middle of winter for failure to meet their bills on time.”

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