'get the finger out' | 

Woman aged over 100 shocked by €1,000 electricity bill, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is told

The case was highlighted in the Dáil by Meath West Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke

Woman aged over 100 shocked by electricity bill

Senan MolonySunday Independent

A woman aged over 100 has been shocked to receive an electricity bill for nearly €1,000.

Kitty, a pensioner centenarian, received a demand for €957 for two-month period.

The case was highlighted in the Dáil by Meath West Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke.

“I wish to raise the cases of two elderly people who have contacted me over the past two days,” he began.

“Kitty from Trim, Co Meath, is over 100 years old. Her electricity bill with Electric Ireland from 7 December to 3 February, 59 days, is €957.49 after all subsidies.”

He waved Kitty's bill in the Dáil chamber, added: “Her previous bill was €133.42.”

She only uses a fridge, washing machine, immersion heater, lighting and two electric heaters on timers -- with no central heating, he said.

Meanwhile Gerry Clarke, 77 years old, from Ballivor, Co Meath, also received a bill this week.

His Electric Ireland charge comes to €1,678.65 – or €1,000 more than his previous bill for €671, with “the one before for €290.”

Leo Varadkar© Niall Carson

Mr Guirke claimed the domestic usage price was “the highest in the world,” and said minister Eamon Ryan “needs to get the finger out and deal with these energy companies, which are making massive profits on the back of pensioners and the Irish public.”

The Taoiseach said he had the same experience. “I have met many people in my constituency who have been really shocked by some of the utility bills that have landed in their letter boxes in recent weeks.

“These are the winter bills. They are extremely high. And unfortunately, there is another one on the way.”

He said the Government was acting. “We have extended the 9pc VAT rate on electricity and gas until the end of October.

“There is another €200 energy credit on the way, and we have provided for targeted welfare payments to increase pensions.”

The Government had also increased the fuel allowance and widened eligibility, among other actions. “We will not stop here,” he added.

“The next step is the introduction of a windfall tax so that we can take back some of the profits of the energy companies and give them back to people to help them with their bills,” the Taoiseach said.

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