Dublin Fingal TD and Fine Gael Spokesperson on Climate Action, Alan Farrell, has said that Sinn Féin’s contradictory policies on energy would wreck the economy.
Deputy Farrell said, “There is now a clear pattern showing that the energy and climate policies proposed by Sinn Féin are ill-thought through and ad-hoc. The Sinn Féin approach risks making things significantly worse for people on the ground as they deal with rising energy costs.
“This week, we saw Sinn Féin accept an amendment from People Before Profit, to their Private Members Bill on Household Bills, which supports ‘the nationalisation of all existing energy generation in the State’. The motion was defeated in Dáil Éireann.
“Nationalisation of energy produced in Ireland would not see any additional energy being produced here, meaning household bills would not fall. It is unclear as to why Sinn Féin would support this suggestion or how it would work in practice. This policy would wreck the economy.
“In November 2021, Sinn Féin published an energy policy document ahead of COP26, which states, ‘large scale private renewables projects should contribute to the public good’. Nationalisation of all energy produced in the State and permitting large-scale private projects cannot co-exist.
Deputy Farrell continued, “This morning, Sinn Féin launched its alternative Budget for 2023 and despite supporting the PBP idea this week, nowhere in the document does it suggest that we nationalise energy production in Ireland. It’s hard to know exactly where Sinn Féin stand on this when all they offer is contradictions.
“More generally, Sinn Féin’s climate policies are inconsistent and offer little in the way of a recognisable, joined-up, approach to climate and energy policy in Ireland. They have not decided where they stand on sectoral emissions targets; and last year retracted a Bill that would have effectively banned onshore wind development.”
Deputy Farrell added, “We’re facing stark challenges in the energy sector and in the wider fight against climate change. If we are to have any chance of bringing down energy costs for homes across Ireland and protecting our environment, we must have a coherent strategy.
“Fine Gael has committed to supporting consumers and businesses through this crisis. This includes energy credits; driving competition in the market so that consumers can have flexibility and choose what is right for them. We’re committed to seeing Ireland become increasingly self-reliant with regard to electricity production, with an aim of producing 80% renewable electricity by 2030; and to strengthening our security of supply.
“Our country is best served when policies are realistic, measurable and achievable. Sinn Féin, to date, have failed to meet this standard. Their policies are inconsistent and reckless and would wreak havoc on our economy.”