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Government still refusing to publish Cahill Report

6 July, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD again called on the Government to publish the Cahill/Frontier Economics Report.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The programme for Government contains the commitment to break up the ESB by stripping it of its transmission assets. Yet the Government has in its possession the Cahill Report, which clearly sets out the lunacy of that approach.

“Week after week Sinn Féin has called on the Government 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 a whopping 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 fear that the Energy Minister is deliberately withholding its publication.

“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 its future 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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