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McDonald calls on Rabbitte to publish the Cahill/Frontier Economics Report on ESB

30 June, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin’s Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has today written to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources calling on him to publish the Cahill/Frontier Economics Report which contains a strong argument against the Government’s plans to break-up the assets of the ESB.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Over the last number of weeks I have repeatedly asked the Minister to publish the Cahill/Frontier Economics Report which has been sitting on the Ministers desk for a number of months now. The report makes a strong economic argument against the Government’s intention to unbundle the ESB’s transmission and distribution assets, a move that could cost the State 1.6 billion euro.

“As the Cahill/Frontier Economic Report contains a view contrary to the Government’s commitment to breaking up the ESB’s key assets it is my concern that it is for this very reason it has not been published to date.

“Perhaps of more immediate concern is the increasingly negative effect the threat of unbundling is having on the ESB’s international financing position. It’s worth noting that the ESB has been self-financing since its inception and has paid out 1.2 billion euro in dividends to the State over the last 9 years. Unlike the Government the ESB continues to secure funding from the international markets such is its reputation and strength.

“The Government’s commitment in the Programme for Government to break up the ESB has created uncertainty around the future of the ESB and this in turn will undermine the company’s ability to invest in planned capital projects that not only create new jobs but, as importantly, retain existing positions.

“ESB’s networks can play an extended role in the State’s development, particularly in the area of telecommunications with the roll out of broadband. Breaking up the ESB’s assets makes no economic sense whatsoever.” ENDS

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