Ordinary people will be "crippled with utterly unsustainable increases" in energy bills, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has said.
Energy supplier Panda Energy has raised its prices for the seventh time in less than two years, with electricity bills to increase by 12.7% and gas bills to increase by 25.8% from August 25th.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Boyd Barrett said: "Huge numbers of people are going to be pushed into poverty."
"How are people whose incomes have remained more or less static supposed to manage that?"
Bord Gáis Energy's profits have risen by 74% and Electric Ireland will next week increase its customers electricity and gas bills by 11% and 29% respectively.
"This is a massive transfer of wealth to the corporate energy sector and it is crushing people. Many people simply will not be able to sustain this."
People Before Profit is campaigning for a windfall tax to be applied to the extra profits of large energy companies.
"Frankly, people's anger on this is going to explode", said Boyd Barrett.
He believes it's time for Ireland to follow in the footsteps of countries like France, which has nationalised its main energy provider and restricted energy price hikes.
"Once upon a time in this country, gas and electricity were provided by state companies on a not-for-profit basis."
"Since we privatised those companies and deregulated those markets, prices have gone through the roof and it is clear that a system where profit is essentially the determining factor is not sustainable against the current background."
Listen back to the full interview here.
Main image shows People Before Profit Solidarity TD Richard Boyd Barrett on the plinth at Leinster House last year. Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews