Taoiseach: No disconnections of pay-as-you-go energy users this winter

Around 10% of the country's energy users are estimated to use the systems and concerns were raised that they were not covered by the moratorium on disconnections
Taoiseach: No disconnections of pay-as-you-go energy users this winter

Expensive heating - Stock image

There will be no disconnections of pay-as-you-go energy users this winter, the Taoiseach has said.

Around 10% of the country's energy users are estimated to use the systems and concerns were raised that they were not covered by the moratorium on disconnections. Micheál Martin said that he was adamant that there could be no disconnections this winter.

"In an energy crisis of this kind we cannot have disconnections," he said.

"We are very clear about that. We don't want people disconnected, particularly vulnerable people and people who will find it difficult in terms of meeting their bills".

Mr Martin said that the Government and energy regulator would be working and that "through the social welfare system we will underpin and help people in terms of meeting their bills".

The Taoiseach told RTÉ's The Week In Politics he could not guarantee that this winter would not see blackouts but even the fact there is a question showed that the planning system around energy must be accelerated.

Earlier, he said that Tuesday's €11 billion budget was not designed to "fully" cover the cost-of-living crisis.

"It is just not simply possible to do that but it will alleviate pressures significantly and the budget is targeted so that those who need it the most will get the most."

The Taoiseach also took aim at politicians, including from his own party, who object to housing developments. He said he was open with TDs that they had to stop objecting to developments because, in his opinion, they were frustrating delivery of homes.

“There’s been too much delay, and I’m very impatient with it. The younger generation need access to housing. There’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we remove the obstacles, stop objecting, and let the projects get off the ground.

“Irrespective of what party politicians belong to, I do not believe we have the luxury to be opposing housing schemes in this country to the degree that we are.

“There’s an obligation on all of us to make sure that we remove the obstacles, stop objecting, and let the projects get off the ground."

Asked if he was willing to go into government with Sinn Féin after the next election, Mr Martin said that he believes that Mary Lou McDonald's party is anti-enterprise and anti-Europe. However, he said that the party "has no serious policies at the moment", and did not rule out a future coalition.

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