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Energy price growth will have serious impact on wider costs, Taoiseach warns

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T

he growth in energy prices will have a serious impact on the costs of transport, industry and farming sectors, the Irish premier has warned.

Micheal Martin said the implications of the outbreak of war in Ukraine will be felt for some time, and will be “fundamental” to the continent of Europe.

He said there has been an “exponential growth” in energy prices in recent weeks, and that food security will be an issue across Europe.

“In teeth of the war, they are growing even further,” Mr Martin added.

“We have an open mind in what is the optimal route for Ireland to take to make sure industry continues, and the economy continues to operate.

“We are moving out of the worst of the winter but there are very serious issues in terms of input costs, in terms of the transport industry, farming and fertiliser and other costs.

Micheal Martin said the focus is on logistical support and financial support to those at the borders of Ukraine (Niall Carson/PA) / PA Wire

“Food security will be an issue across Europe. These are enormous issues facing us.”

Mr Martin added: “The situation is very serious and I am of a view that the implications will be with us for some time, and they will be quite fundamental in terms of the continent of Europe and the world.

“First of all the humanitarian crisis resulting from this continuing barbaric attack on the people of Ukraine, which I think is shocking people all over the world, the sheer scale and nature of that barbarity.

“Right now, the focus is on logistical supports and financial supports to those at the borders that are to both countries like Poland, Hungary, and others who are looking after huge numbers of people.

“So we have to make sure that we can do everything we possibly can to support that effort.”

He said it is hard to estimate the number of people fleeing Ukraine who will arrive in Ireland.

“There is a sense now that this is going to be a longer situation than might have been originally viewed and therefore, areas around accommodation, economy, energy, the impact on energy will be significant,” Mr Martin added.

“This is a wartime situation and we’ve got to get our mindset focused on that.

“We have to look through everything through the prism that this is a wartime situation, which changes everything.

“We have to look at the energy issue. We have to look at the food issue in terms of the continent, and in terms of what does this do to food patterns now in terms of the capacity of Ukraine, and Russia jointly exporting massive amounts of grain and so on.”

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