Proposed ESB price increases unjustified and unacceptable
Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has said it is completely unacceptable for the ESB to talk about increasing charges by up to 10% to household customers while at the same time announcing after tax profits of €267 million.
Deputy Crowe said, “I find it completely unacceptable and reprehensible that the ESB while announcing after tax profits of almost €300 million have in the same breadth indicated that charges to household customers may
increase by up to 10% in the coming year.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for these proposed increases – not even the rise in the price of oil – considering the massive profits that are being made by the ESB.
“While it is good to see a semi-state Company perform so well it should be remembered that this is a public utility and not a private profit-making enterprise. Its purpose is to provide a service to the public not to screw them for every last cent they have. I am very concerned that the recent massive price hikes are part of the Government’s plan to fatten up the Company in advance of selling it off. I would urge the energy regulator to reject the ESBs request for the increase.
“In the last two days we have had two reports of increased indebtedness from the Central bank and the Economic Social Research Institute. These reports have indicated that even a small shift upwards in interest rates will leave many people in a very vulnerable situation. What we don’t need is semi-state companies adding to that potential burden by slapping on totally unnecessary and unjustifiable charges that are far in excess of the
rate of inflation.” ENDS