The Labour Party is proposing a Private Member's Bill that would require the Government to draw up a national strategy to combat fuel poverty. Party spokesperson, Liz McManus, TD, said:
'The strategy would require the Minister to specify a comprehensive set of measures to ensure the efficient use of energy and set a target date for achieving the objective of ensuring that, as far as practicable, persons do not live in fuel poverty. Action is now urgently required or this problem will get much worse over the coming years. I hope that the government will accept our Bill or that it will, at a minimum, prompt them into action of their own.'
Okay, then. The Fianna Fail Government doesn’t have a ‘fuel-poverty’ strategy. The Institute of Public Health (IPH) tells us that, ‘Data on fuel poverty is not routinely monitored by government in the Republic’. It’s not just that domestic fuel, along with shelter and food, is an absolute necessity; it is for thousands a matter of life and death.
This issue is right down the Left’s alley, so to speak, emphasising redistribution and social protection. So my question is: why are we so shy about putting forward our own proposals?