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Protest at Pat Rabbitte’s Office Announced


Shell to Sea protestOn Saturday, October 13, éirígí Tallaght will hold a demonstration at the constituency office of Twenty-Six County Labour Minister Pat Rabbitte, in protest at the recent announcement of an 8.5 percent price hike in gas bills. The protest will start at 1pm and last for about an hour. Pat Rabbitte’s constituency office is located on the Main Street in Tallaght village.

Explaining the need for the protest, éirígí Tallaght spokesperson Scott Masterson said, “Last month the Commission for Energy Regulation granted approval to Bord Gáis for an 8.5 percent increase in their prices. This will affect over 400,000 of the company’s customers. The news comes less than a year after a shocking 22 percent hike in gas prices. Fuel poverty is a harsh experience familiar to people all across the country. More and more families are having to choose between heating and eating, a terrible choice that nobody should have to make.

“Most sickeningly, however, is the Dublin government’s continuing role in giving away Ireland’s oil and gas reserves to private energy companies like Shell and Tony O’Reilly’s Providence Resources. The minister who oversees this treacherous giveaway is the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte. Since taking office he has made no serious effort to gain any financial benefit from Ireland’s oil and gas reserves. Instead, he has now given the go ahead for a rise in energy prices.”

Masterson continued, “The price rise will hit homes in October. It has been estimated that 70 euro will be added to the already high average annual household energy bill. People are already struggling with bills, tax increases and anti-social taxes such as the Home Tax. Maybe Pat Rabbitte would care to explain to the people of Tallaght and Dublin South-West where they will get the money to pay for this latest hike?”

Masterson concluded by noting the effect such price hikes have on families and the economy. “A recent survey found that many households have only 100 euro left per month after they pay all their bills. This 70 euro average increase for gas may not seem like much to Pat Rabbitte with his large pay packet, but to many families it will mean the difference between just getting by and going under.

“The Dublin government spend a lot of time talking about economic recovery but can Pat Rabbitte tell us how he expects small businesses to survive when he is taking money out of the pockets of the very people who support those businesses? Clearly the Fine Gael/Labour “road to recovery” which pins its hopes on a consumer-led recovery is deeply flawed and will ultimately fail. The first step to recovery will be rejecting Troika diktats and giving the people priority over the corporations when it comes to our natural resources and energy supplies.”


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