Pringle hits out government over ‘subsidised energy companies’ 

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has hit out at the government as he claims it subsidised energy companies at the expense of its own citizens.

Addressing the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “Last month, Europe’s gas prices returned to pre-war levels, yet citizens’ bills continue to soar while energy companies make eye-watering profits. The government has not only allowed this to happen, but it has actually facilitated it.

“I warned of this back in September, when speaking on Budget 2023. I warned that by giving out the three instalments of energy credits, we would be putting money straight into the pockets of energy companies. At the time I asked: ‘Why would energy companies ever reduce their prices when they know that the government will not only let them keep rising, but they will actually pay them when they do it as well?


“Five months later and here’s the proof. Gas prices have gone down, energy companies are paying less, yet not a single energy company or supplier has reduced its prices for their customers. Why? Because they know that the government will facilitate any ridiculous rate that they decide to charge,” he said.

Thomas Pringle is calling for an independent inquiry into HSE-run centres in Donegal.

Deputy Pringle was speaking today in support of the Social Democrats motion re Energy Costs and Windfall Taxes.

The deputy said: “The reality is that we paid for Shell’s record-breaking profit of €36 billion last year, more than double of what it raked in the previous year. It is absolutely despicable. Profiteering on a war is unethical and wrong and instead of taking the power away from these profit-hungry, immoral companies, the government has instead subsidised them at the expense of their own citizens.”

Deputy Pringle said: “It is incredibly frustrating to see the detrimental impact that energy prices are having on the people and the businesses in my constituency of Donegal. Many businesses in the county were forced to close their doors due to the struggle they faced in paying energy bills and I fear that many more will follow after what has been a very difficult winter for many small businesses.

“The motion put forward today rightly points out the fact that ‘there is a risk of the energy crisis becoming a jobs crisis if businesses begin to close’. The people of this country are already enduring a cost-of-living crisis and the last thing that is needed is yet another crisis joining the endless cycle of crises in the country.

“Citizens are struggling enough. Food banks are becoming increasingly frequent and sought after in rural communities as families struggle to put food on the table. It is devastating,” he said.


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