5 January 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Socialist Party TD Mick Barry said this morning that the Government must extend cost of living supports past the planned February cutoff point.
His comments came in the wake of the announcement that the State recorded a Budget surplus of €5bn for last year – five times greater than that expected just three months ago at the time of Budget 2023.
Finance Minister Michael McGrath has said that consideration will be given to extending supports in the coming months.
But the Cork North Central TD said this morning: “The Government should make a more or less immediate announcement that extra supports will be provided to households in the aftermath of the €5Bn surplus. Households are going to get a nasty shock when the next electricity and gas bills arrive, those will be the first ones since the cold snap before Christmas. The Government can’t be sitting on a €5Bn surplus when households are just being hammered with these bills.”
Deputy Barry said that the energy industry should be nationalised and that the super- profits made by the industry should be put towards keeping energy prices at 2021 rates.