Ireland

Eamon Ryan says energy credits were Green Party measure

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at his party’s annual think-in in Tramore, Co Waterford (Brownes Photography/PA)
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at his party’s annual think-in in Tramore, Co Waterford (Brownes Photography/PA) Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at his party’s annual think-in in Tramore, Co Waterford (Brownes Photography/PA)

Green leader Eamon Ryan has said energy credits introduced in last year’s budget were proposed by his party.

Speaking to reporters at his party’s annual think-in which was taking place in Tramore, Co Waterford, Mr Ryan said the Green’s junior role in the coalition is “the front wheel” rather than the “mudguard”.

“We’re leading in terms of this change that needs to be delivered. We look back on our Programme for Government, we look back on our manifesto and we see the whole series of developments in our country that we promised and now we’re delivering in government.

“We said we would deliver a new form of public housing in cost-rental housing open to everyone, public, and we’re delivering it at scale.

“We said we would change the public transport system and improve it for the better and we’re delivering that right across the country.”

Asked if politicians were out of touch with the cost-of-living pressures on working families, Mr Ryan said his party was “not disconnected” and he sought to take credit for the energy credits introduced last year.

A 600 euro energy credit was announced in last year’s budget for households which was to be delivered in three instalments across November, January and March.

“Last year, the Green Party actually laid out this idea of the energy credits, we put it together and put forward the proposal to Government and it really did work, helped people through a very difficult time.”

Mr Ryan also called on energy companies to further reduce prices.

Asked about unfavourable polling for the Green Party ahead of elections, Mr Ryan said: “We’ve been around for 40 years, there’s been ups and downs – the tide comes in, the tide goes out.

“But I think we’ll be never more needed. Because as I said, what we’ve been warning about for 40 years has been now unfolding before us.”

He said the vast majority of Irish people back a “green future for our country”.

Mr Ryan added that he was “looking forward” to leading the party into the next general election.