Thursday, 29 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
The Deputy makes a fair point. It is something that I can undertake to examine in conjunction with the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan, and the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Humphreys. We need to find a mechanism to protect pay-as-you-go customers. It is gas bills in particular that will present a difficulty over the next few months. We may see electricity prices falling or at least stabilising. The changes in the European rules around how electricity is calculated will help, as will the energy credit. However, gas bills could be particularly high over the next couple of months.
As we both mentioned, the Government is helping in many ways. It is doing so through the fuel allowance, other social welfare payments, the energy credit and the exceptional needs payments. As the Deputy acknowledged, that will be enough for the vast majority of pay-as-you-go customers throughout the winter. However, if there are particular hardship cases, we need to find a mechanism to help the people involved. I will undertake to speak to the Ministers for the Environment, Climate and Communicationsand Social Protection about precisely that matter.