Published: Thu, 29 October 2015
Seán Kelly MEP today joined a group of MEPs in calling for the scrapping of so-called Daylight Saving Time hour change across Europe for health, economic and practical reasons.
The Ireland South MEP addressed the issue during a European Parliament debate on the subject in Strasbourg this week.
“I have become more against the Daylight Savings time change in recent years. It brings in winter overnight and delays the onset of Spring by at least a month. I am delighted to support fellow MEPs in supporting a call for the European Commission to issue a directive and scrap daylight savings. It wouldn’t cost anything to make the change, but could greatly benefit the lives of our citizens,” Mr Kelly said.
A Parliament hearing on the subject, held earlier this year, heard that some studies attributed a large proportion of accidents to the hour change. It could improve road safety as there is often a peak in fatalities between late afternoon and evening time, especially during the darker months. It is estimated that around 20 percent of the European population suffers various health consequences such as fatigue, migraines, disorientation and depression while people with autism are said to experience difficulties due to Daylight Savings measures. Furthermore, the estimated cost of treating those health impacts attributed to the hour time change every year amounts to 131 billion euros.
Meanwhile, what financial savings are made in lighting are cancelled out by increased heating bills, MEPs heard.
The European Commission has no current plans to change Daylight Savings Time and says there are mixed results from the various studies on the subject. However, Mr Kelly urged the Commission to take action, noting that Russia abolished Daylight Savings in 2011.
“It is time the EU acted in the interests of citizens and scrap the hour change as soon as possible – for the health and wellbeing of our citizens.”