Sinn Féin - On Your Side

No price hike for ESB

30 July, 2004

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said today that the ESB cannot be allowed to hike the prices on its bills anymore. Deputy Ferris was speaking following an indication today from the Commission for Energy Regulation that it will allow the company to raise its bills by 8% in October.

Deputy Ferris said:

"This is out and out madness. In January of this year the ESB got a price increase of 5% and over the last year has reaped the benefit of a total of 30% in price hikes. The company recently announced massive after-tax profits of €249 million. We're talking here about another 8% on top of what is fast becoming the bill that householders dread the most every second month.

"No political party is as committed to supporting state companies as Sinn Féin, but this is in part because of a belief that privatised companies put pursuit of profit before anything else and take no account of the damage massive price increases can cause.

"ESB has just increased profits by over 50% in one year while cutting operational costs and increasing productivity. That is a massive success and the workers of ESB are to be congratulated. And I am aware of the impact rising fuel prices will have on the bottom line, but there seems to be no case for inflicting a heavy price increase on consumers when the company is so financially healthy and rising costs are causing such hardship across the state.

"I am calling on the Commission for Energy Regulation to refuse the ESB permission for a price increase this year." ENDS

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