Ulster Unionist Economy Spokesperson, Sandra Overend, will meet with the Utility Regulator and Manufacturing NI, following research published today (Tuesday) which shows that electricity prices for the largest users in Northern Ireland are amongst the highest in the European Union.
The Mid Ulster MLA said;
‘The findings of this report show that electricity prices for our largest industrial and commercial consumers, who account for around 30% of non-domestic consumers, are among the highest in Europe. This is obviously detrimental to their competitiveness with other firms throughout Europe and also negatively affects our ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment to this region of the United Kingdom. It also lends further evidence to the argument to devolve and subsequently reduce Corporation Tax in order to ease the burden on the business community.’
‘This issue is one that was highlighted to the ETI committee almost a year ago by Manufacturing NI and it is welcome that these concerns have been taken on board by the Utility Regulator and this research has been carried out. Further work is of course needed to fully understand why these price variations are present through Europe, however, I welcome this initial research which will inform the next steps in tackling this concerning issue.’
‘I have spoken previously with the Utility Regulator Chief Executive, Shane Lynch, on the subject of electricity prices and have requested a further meeting in light of this report and I will also be meeting with Bryan Gray from Manufacturing NI later this week as this is something which significantly affects that sector. I will also be requesting that the Enterprise, Trade and Investment committee pursue this matter further after Easter.”