Socialist Party
PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE - 18 November 2003

Jim Barbour accuses Esmond Bernie of hypocrisy over electricity rates

Jim Barbour, Socialist Party candidate for South Belfast, today called for all candidates to declare their financial interests in private companies after criticising Esmond Bernie of hypocrisy on the question of affordable electricity prices.

Mr. Barbour stated "In Esmond Bernie’s election material he has called for lower electricity prices, yet he has conveniently forgotten to mention that while in Stormont he declared owning 445 shares in Viridian, the company who are responsible for charging the people of Northern Ireland some of the highest electricity rates in Europe.

Since the privatisation of electricity in Northern Ireland prices have soared. It is a bit rich for Esmond Bernie to now call for low electricity rates since he has materially gained from the sell-off of this vital public service. In fact, he is partly to blame for the electricity rip-off.

Mr. Barbour said " I have no shares in any companies and I will continue to live on a firefighter’s wage if elected."

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