“We’re going to lose a lot of jobs and businesses are going to close” – Fitzgerald on the energy crisis

Irish MEP Frances Fitzgerald calls on the EU to create a price shield to protect small businesses from rising energy prices.

EU energy ministers are due to meet in Brussels this week in response to the growing crisis.

Former Justice Minister Fitzgerald said she has heard from countless small business owners struggling to pay their electricity bills.

“We now know there is a crisis that is really affecting small businesses in Ireland, and indeed in Europe,” she said.

“We will lose many jobs and businesses will close.”

Ms Fitzgerald described small businesses as the “backbone of our society” and that the Irish Government and the European Union must “take every step” to lessen the impact of the cost of living crisis on them.

“We need to act on energy prices,” she added.

“Otherwise we will lose many jobs and businesses will close.”

Small business owners

The owner of the Westmeath cafe, who received an electricity bill of €9,836, said she can’t work like this in the future.

Geraldine Dolan owns Poppyfields Café in Athlone.

She said The Pat Kenny Show that they had just changed suppliers.

“Our previous bill – which was from 4/19 to 6/15 – was €2,370, and it went up to €9,836.”

“It was a temporary rate because we moved from Iberdrola to Electric Ireland, because Iberdrola left the market.”

“So we had no choice, we had to go straight to the company that was awarded by the government at the time.”

“You could pay a one-time bill, but how do you do that every two months?”

Geraldine said she couldn’t figure out where the cost came from.

“We have a brand new remodeled kitchen so all of our equipment would be very up to date.

“Some of our cooking appliances are actually gas – so I don’t know.

“I don’t know where we’re going to go with this.”

The main image shows Frances Fitzgerald. Photo by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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