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Louth Businesses Struggling with Energy Bills – Ó Murchú

The issue of the energy bills being faced by businesses in Louth was raised in Leinster House last week by Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú who warned that ‘economic carnage’ could result.

The Sinn Féin TD spoke to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar after their interaction in the Dáil about Suretank in Dunleer and Anglo Printers in Drogheda, just two of a number of local businesses who contacted him in recent days.

Addressing Minister Varadkar, Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘We could be facing economic carnage. We have all heard from the owners of small businesses and industries.

‘We need to deal with the cost of energy at both a domestic and international level, where we can do so, but we will also have to look at grant schemes.

‘I refer to Suretank in Dunleer and Castlebellingham. To lay it out clearly, the company is looking at its cost of €15,000 per month for electricity going to €50,500, and gas going from €3,200 per month to €18,000 per month.

‘It is saying this will mean all its profits are gone and it will be out of action in a number of months.

‘Anglo Printers in Drogheda is looking at its electricity bill going from €160,000 per year to half a million euro, which is an approximate cost of €10,000 per worker.

‘As I said, it is absolute carnage. We need to act as quickly as possible, as was done during the Covid period to keep the ship afloat.

‘I accept this is an issue that is happening across Europe, but we need to deal with it domestically and internationally. We have no choice’.

In response, Minister Varadkar said a response of scale is required, but he could not put a figure on it now.

He said: ‘We probably will be able to put a figure on it for this year, but I am not sure about next year. That will depend on how things develop. The objective, however, is clear: it is to protect viable but vulnerable businesses from failing and to protect the jobs of the people who work in those businesses.

‘I would rather spend enough and achieve what I want to achieve than spend a lot and not achieve what we need to achieve. This is going to be our guiding principle.

He said that while the measures put in place for Covid 19 were about saving lives, the current energy crisis is comparable because ‘of the uncertainty, because people just do not know how bad this crisis will be or how long it is going to go on’ and ‘a comparable response is required’.


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