ESB 'making obscene amounts of money on the back of people’s hardship', says Cork TD

ESB Group have reported €390 million in profit for the first half of this year after tax and exceptional items - almost triple the €128 million recorded in the same period in 2021.
ESB 'making obscene amounts of money on the back of people’s hardship', says Cork TD

Following a report from ESB that the company's after tax profit trebled in the first half of 2022 to €390 million, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the state will take back some of the profits through a windfall tax or taking a bigger dividend. Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Energy companies are making “obscene amounts of money off the back of people’s hardship” says one Cork TD, as ESB recorded an almost tripling of profits for the first half of 2022 compared to last year.

ESB Group have reported €390 million in profit for the first half of this year after tax and exceptional items - almost triple the €128 million recorded in the same period in 2021.

The significant increase in profits reflects soaring energy prices in international markets and rises in consumers’ bills.

Thomas Gould, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, said that the ESB’s profits this year are “scandalous”, and that there is “no way the ESB can justify that type of profit, when families are struggling to heat their homes”.

Deputy Gould said that price caps on energy for consumers should be introduced, as well as a windfall tax on all energy companies that are “making obscene amounts of money on the back of people’s hardship”.

WINDFALL TAX

The Government has said it will introduce a windfall tax on the soaring profits of energy firms, with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirming the tax will be backdated to before the energy crisis.

Fine Gael TD for Cork North Central, Colm Burke, said the state-owned ESB “has a duty to the citizens of the state” to keep energy bills as low as possible, and queried whether the company “could have done a better job” to introduce savings for people.

He added that renewable energy projects should be “fast tracked” through the planning process, to reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported gas, oil and coal, and exposure to their price changes.

Aindrias Moynihan, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North-West, said that the profits reported by ESB are “disgusting” in contrast with households and business owners worried about their rising bills.

He said that ESB dividends should taken out of the business by the government and be “made available to support householders and people under pressure”.

Solidarity TD for Cork-North Central Mick Barry said he hopes a Cost of Living demonstration taking place at 2pm on Grand parade this Saturday will put pressure on government to stop further price hikes.

“This government needs to be put under real pressure to stop these [energy] hikes in the Budget. I hope there is a massive turnout in Cork this Saturday and in Dublin on the 24th to exert the kind of pressure that’s needed,” he said.

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