Caps on energy prices ‘bonkers’, says economist

Economist John Fitzgerald has described calls for a cap on energy prices as “bonkers”. He also warned that the UK economy was “heading for the rocks” because of plans for a cap.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Professor Fitzgerald dismissed a proposal by Sinn Féin to reduce electricity prices by returning them back to “pre-crisis levels” at a cost of €1.7 billion as “not a good idea”.

The key issue was who was being hit the worst so any subsidies or measures should be targeted, he said.

Prof Fitzgerald said the Government needed to concentrate on assisting those who are going to go cold this winter. People on a fixed income in rural Ireland using oil for heating would not be as badly impacted as a pensioner in Dublin who relied on gas.

The price of oil was possibly on the way down while the price of gas was going to go up. “This is a gas problem.”

The bulk of the population did not need to be protected, he said.

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