Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (191)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

191. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she will consult with her ministerial colleagues, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and consider the introduction of legislation to amend electricity standing charges to support businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector that are currently closed or operating at a very low level; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2951/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I am informed by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications that responsibility for the regulation of the electricity and gas markets, including the matters raised by the Deputy, is solely a matter for the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), which was assigned responsibility for the regulation of the Irish electricity and gas markets following the enactment of the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA), 1999.

The CRU is an independent statutory regulator and is accountable for the performance of its functions to the Oireachtas.

As the Deputy may be aware, my colleague, the Minister for Finance introduced the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to help address fixed costs such as those faced by businesses closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, Fáilte Ireland is introducing a number of support schemes for strategic tourism businesses, particularly focusing on those businesses that do not qualify for CRSS.