Reports of a fourth €200 electricity credit feel like a cynical attempt to distract people from the chaos in the Oireachtas in recent weeks.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, presenter Ciara Kelly said this morning’s reports ‘felt like a pat on the head’ from the Government amid the latest SIPO controversies.
The fourth electricity credit would take the total handed out this winter to €800 per household as many families continue to struggle with huge heating bills.
Ciara questioned the timing of the announcement – saying she felt like the public are being treated like children.
“I’ll tell you why I was cynical about it,” she said. “Because I saw it in the papers this morning and there was such a big splash about it.
“‘Another €200 people’ – and there were pictures of Paschal and pictures of Michael McGrath and they’re there beaming.
“I just thought, we’ve seen such an unedifying mess in terms of politics for the last number of weeks coming out of the Oireachtas and I just felt like I was getting a pat on the head.
“It felt like, ‘look please be distracted from everything else. Here we’ll give you another €200 quid.’”
She said the credit won’t make a huge difference to families in the grand scheme of things.
“If you’re on a tracker mortgage, your bills will go up this year by €2,400 and that’s on top of all the other cost of living expenses, in terms of food and petrol and blah, blah, blah – I could list them out infinitum (forever).
“It is more expensive and we are all poorer.
“So, it is a kind of a sop and I don’t think the timing of it is particularly insignificant.
“I felt like I was being treated like a child and that they’re trying to distract me and it annoyed me.”
Shane said the government is now “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” – insisting the credits will help people pay their bills.
“I couldn’t believe it earlier this week,” he said. “Virgin Media did a sort of a state of the nation poll and 68% of people said the Government wasn’t doing enough in terms of the cost-of-living crisis.
“Ciara, I actually sat there with my jaw wide open.
“We had the biggest budget in the history of the State. We literally threw - the Government, rightly or wrongly - threw money out at people.
“It was Brewster’s Millions. They almost emptied cash out of a helicopter across the nation.”
He admitted that the supports are not enough for many households – but noted, ‘it is never going to be enough’.
“We don’t seem to get it,” he said. “What always amazes me about Ireland is we don’t seem to get that it is our money.
“It is almost like we think there is a magic money tree that produces it and they are not giving me enough.
“It is our money and there is only a certain amount of it to go around.”