Deputies

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Fuel poverty: where is the 2009 strategy?

Liz McManus (Lab, Wicklow) questioned the government on its progress on fuel poverty in the light of carbon tax and disconnections (Dail Eireann, Debates, 30th November 2010, 405-7).  The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan told her that he shared her concern about the risks of fuel poverty.  The national recovery plan had promised to double the price of carbon from €15 a tonne to €30 a tonne to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change, but it was decided not to increase the carbon tax rate in 2011 because of other tax increases faced by householders and it would be increased on a phased basis over 2012-14.  He told her that the government would this year give out €230m under the fuel allowance scheme, €226m under the electricity and gas allowance scheme, a total of €450m on relieving fuel poverty, more than Britain and other European countries.  She questioned him why the fuel poverty strategy promised for 2009 had still not been published.  Why did he raise people’s expectations only to dash them?  The minister told her that the strategy would be presented within the coming weeks.  It had been completed in his department and they had to work within the time lines of the Department of Social Protection and government before publication.
> See also: Dail Eireann, Debates, 24th November 2010, 163-4.
> Local authority central heating programme: Dail Eireann, Debates, 1st December 2010, 824.