Chaotic Energy | 

Taoiseach Micheal Martin warns mass strike against paying energy bills would be ‘chaotic’

Micheál Martin was speaking after People Before Profit TD Richard Boy Barrett said that people would be “more than justified” in refusing to pay their soaring bills.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

The Taoiseach has warned that a mass strike against paying energy bills would be “chaotic” and create further problems down the line.

Micheál Martin was speaking after People Before Profit TD Richard Boy Barrett said that people would be “more than justified” in refusing to pay their soaring bills.

He criticised the party for encouraging the idea, adding that those who stopped paying their bills would face massive debt in the future.

“I think that would be chaotic,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

“It would be bad advice because we need to keep a sustainable approach.

“I mean, the danger with all of that of course, in the fullness of time, those political activists and People Before Profit fundamentally want to create havoc. They are activists who don’t believe in the current system at all and want to overturn it, I mean that is their declared political agenda.

“So, they use events like this, they exploit events like this to try and create that chaos. What would happen is people would be left with huge bills.”

The Taoiseach admitted that the Government is not in the position to fully protect the public from rising energy costs, but plan to lessen the blow by introducing a special cost-of-living package and “taxing any excess revenue that companies are making off of this crisis”.

“It’s a very unprecedented crisis in terms of the price levels of electricity. We’ve never witnessed anything like this before.

“We’re going to have to do a significant intervention for households in particular who will not be able to cover the full scale of the increase.”

It comes after Leo Varadkar said that he “wouldn’t want” people to worry about their bills this Christmas.

The Tánaiste suggested that two relief measures to take the pressure off homeowners may be on their way.

He told the journal.ie: “I think everyone knows the way utility bills work, they work in a two-month cycle. There’s an October/ November bill and there’s a December/January bill.

“So we need to be conscious of the fact that if we help people with the October/November bill, we can’t leave them with no help at all for the December/January bill.

“I think it would make sense to give people visibility into the new year, maybe not for the entirety of 2023. But you know, I wouldn’t want people in December worrying about the January bill,” said Varadkar.

He added: “What I’m saying is that the announcements on budget day aren’t the final word on this.”


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