Donegal communities angered by cuts to utility allowances – Ó Domhnaill

Labour abandons promises, as cash-strapped families struggle to pay household bills



Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has said a growing number of Donegal families are struggling to pay their household bills as a result of energy price hikes and the Government’s decision to cut phone and utility allowances.


Senator Ó Domhnaill has hit out at the Labour Party for again abandoning their promises and pressing ahead with significant cuts to utility and phone allowances, at a time when gas and electricity prices continue to soar.


“In July the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton decided to impose significant cuts to fuel and telephone allowances for the most vulnerable people in society,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.


“Prior to the General Election Minister Burton’s predecessor Éamon Ó Cuív had been in negotiations with the energy service providers to seek discounts in order to offset the allowance cuts. But Minister Burton refused to continue these negotiations.


“The result is that households who were already struggling to make ends meet have now been plunged into further difficulty as the Government cuts State support in the face of rising gas and electricity prices. The irony is that this move has been made by the Labour Party, who in opposition held themselves up as the champions of struggling families unable to meet their household bills.


“In October 2010, the Labour Party tabled a Dáil motion on fuel poverty calling on the Government to do more to help people struggling to pay their bills. During the debate on this motion, Labour told the Dáil that thousands of people were unable to pay their gas and electricity bills and they accused the Government of being a ‘disgrace’ for not providing more funding for social welfare allowances. How quickly they have forgotten these values.


“I have been contacted by many people from across Donegal who simply feel they cannot cope with all these extra costs. They are facing extra bills from January as a result of the Government’s decision to impose a household charge and septic tank fees. The broken promises are coming thick and fast from this Government and households around the country are suffering as a result.”




Posted: Sep 30, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized