Fine Gael spokesperson Bernard Durkan has called for Ireland's natural resources minister, Noel Dempsey, to initiate a review of regulatory arrangements that approve price increases in gas and electricity.

<p>Bernard Durkan, Fine Gael spokesperson on communications and natural resources, said that Minister Dempsey and the Irish government has turned a deaf ear to consumer concerns about gas and electricity price increases. His comments came as he was publishing the wording of a Fine Gael motion highlighting the economic impact of recent gas and electricity price increases.<br /><br />To grant such increases when it was quite clear that oil and gas prices on the international markets were falling was bad enough, to do nothing to address the issue when there is considerable and growing evidence that prices will fall further still is irresponsible, he said. The recent electricity price rise will see consumers facing into another year of price increases, coming after a series of ESB increases in the last number of years. <br /><br />Mr Durkan also stated that increasing energy prices was not the right way to encourage competition. Instead, he said, serious investment in R&D into indigenous alternative energy sources is required, to help reduce the need for imports and decrease Ireland&#0039;s dependency on the international markets.<br /><br />If there was any doubt about oil prices and supply, recent expert statements and the reduction in output should be more than sufficient to encourage Minister Dempsey to act in the matter before it is too late, Mr Durkham concluded.</p>