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Editorial: Cutting off electricity is just wrong

BY the time you fold away this paper and turn out the lights tonight, 30 households will be plunged into darkness for non-payment of ESB bills.

Thirty hard-pressed households, many of them families with children, are being left without light or the power to cook a simple meal.

Most of us take for granted our electricity to watch TV, recharge mobile phones, check email or play games. But in 900 homes a month, these basic services are severed.

The ESB is a profitable semi-State body and pays its top executives handsomely. The company declares cut-offs are a last resort. But the company must pay close heed to the warnings of the St Vincent de Paul organisation that more forbearance will be needed in the coming months with those who continue to struggle to pay their bills.

Electricity is a necessity -- as much as shelter and running water. Society has given the banks a huge amount of leeway. Struggling householders deserve as much consideration.