Government must come clean about cuts to retrofit grant cuts – Ó Domhnaill

Local Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has raised serious concerns about local job losses as a result of the 20% cut to home energy savings grants.

The government has slashed the retrofitting grants available to homeowners by 20% from this week on. The cuts are being implemented as part of the Better Energy scheme, launched last week by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD.

Senator Ó Domhnaill commented, “Over the past week I have been contacted by several contractors across the north west, who say the demand for retrofit work will plummet as a result of Minister Rabbitte’s grant cut.

“The cut is part of the Minister’s new Better Energy scheme – a revised version of the very successful retrofit scheme introduced by the previous government. The Minister claims he will create an additional 2,000 jobs in the industry this year, when in fact all logic suggests the grant cut will have the opposite result.

“How can the Minister honestly believe he can create jobs through retrofitting, while at the same time making this scheme less affordable for homeowners?  Such a drastic cut to the grants available will deter people from taking on home energy savings projects and put further pressure on the contractors who are trying to secure work.

“I want the Minister to come clean on this issue without delay. People working in the industry across the country are extremely nervous about the future in light of Minister Rabbitte’s decision to make home energy savings projects much less affordable for average homeowners.

“Much work has been done to encourage families to save money on their energy bills by investing in retrofitting. How can the Fine Gael/Labour government justify their move to put these long-term savings out of people’s reach?”

Posted: May 18, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized