The Cost of Living Coalition group in Mayo are calling on people to join the local protest at 1pm, Saturday, September 17 at Market Square, Castlebar. The coalition is demanding real action from the Government on the inflationary crisis.
The coalition includes ATU Students' Union, Castlebar Trades Council, People Before Profit, Sinn Fein, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, USI, The Rural Ireland Organisation, SIPTU, The Dublin Council of Trades Unions, The Senior Citizens Parliament, SPARK and other groups.
Spokesperson for the coalition in Mayo Joe Daly stated: "With general inflation at over 9.6 per cent and increasing on all commodities and utilities there is an urgent need for action.
"Working families, students, renters, small businesses and small farmers are being crippled by the profiteering of highly profitable energy and fossil fuel corporations.
"In March, Bord Gáis, increased its average electricity bill by 27 per cent and the average gas bill by 39 per cent, just last week the formerly State owned company announced increased profits of 74 per cent at €39.4 million while its parent company Centrica posted overall profits of €1.6 billion, an increase of over 80 per cent. A direct result of privatisation.
"Energia has just announced an electricity unit price hike of 33.5 per cent and gas unit hike of 47.11 per cent from next month, which will add more than €500 on to the average customer's annual bill. Energia saw its profit after tax surge 50 per cent to €28.8m in its last financial year and also paid a €30m dividend to its parent company US private equity group I Squared Capital.
"It is crazy to think that Energia is also planning to build a major energy guzzling data centre complex at Huntstown in Dublin which will add to the serious risk of blackouts for ordinary people while this Grinch-Government tells people to turn off their Christmas lights. To add insult to never ending injury, the same fossil fuel corporations that are causing climate destruction are raking in huge profits while the planet burns.
"The market is clearly failing to solve the inflationary crisis and is in fact the root cause of it. We are demanding that the Government take serious steps to regulate the market by immediately introducing price caps on all energy and fuel corporations back to 2021 levels while also taxing the huge windfall profits they are making. We also demand rent caps to affordable levels and linked to the ability to pay. But this Government wants to tinker around the edges by subsidising the profits of big business. To force the Government to act we need feet on the streets.
"We are calling on the workers, trade unionists, small farmers, self employed workers and all those affected by this crisis in Mayo to join the Cost of Living Coalition to force real action from this do-nothing Government."