Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: Government must ensure Travellers are not left behind in energy credit scheme

Thomas Pringle TD: Government must ensure Travellers are not left behind in energy credit scheme

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has called on Government to ensure that Traveller households that did not receive last year’s energy credits will receive the credits, and to take steps to make sure the omissions do not occur again.

Addressing the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “As part of last year’s budget, the Government introduced an enhanced electricity credit of €600 that was applied to electricity bills. However, many in the Traveller community were left behind as they did not receive this energy credit.

“Despite engagement between Minister Smyth and National Traveller MABS, this issue has still not been resolved and many families have missed out on a credit that would have eased a significant financial burden during this cost-of-living crisis. This credit, of course, had no bother making its way to those who are not in need of it, such as TDs, and high net worth individuals, and multimillionaires,” he said.

The deputy raised the issue during Questions on Policy or Legislation.

Deputy Pringle said: “With next week’s budget looming, my question is: What are you going to do to ensure that every Traveller household who missed out on a credit last year is issued with the credit as soon as possible? And what will you do to ensure this doesn’t happen again next week?”

In his response, Minister Ossian Smyth said new legislation will be passed this autumn that will take account of specific needs of Travellers, not all of whom have their own electricity meter.