Government sparks fury over power contracts

Alliance Assembly member Sean Neeson has accused the NIO of ensuring that Northern Ireland continues to have the highest electricity bills in the UK.

Mr Neeson said he felt ‘let down’ by Minister Ian Pearson after the East Antrim MLA and Deputy Chair of the Assembly Enterprise Committee very recently received assurances from the Economy Minister that provision would be made for the refinancing of long-term power station contracts in the new Energy Order.

Mr Neeson, who had had pushed the buy-out proposal to the Department no later than the day prior to suspension at a special meeting of the ETI committee, said it would have led to a drop in electricity bills.

Mr Neeson stated: “I feel badly let down by the Minister, who has thrown away an opportunity to bring down our sky-high electricity bills. Mr Pearson had assured me that there would be provision for contract buy-outs in the Order, but it seems as though he has bowed to pressure from his officials.”

“Once again, the civil servants and Treasury officials have got their way, and should hang their heads in shame. I can think of no better reason for getting the Assembly back on its feet again, as clearly direct rule is not in the best interests of Northern Ireland.” Ends

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