Tanaiste Says Government Will Take Dividend From Massive ESB Profits

Leo Varadkar

The Tánaiste has said the state will take back some of the bumper profits from the E-S-B.

According to the group’s half year results, profit after tax and exceptional items came in at €390m.

The interim results show they increased from €198m in 2021 to €390m in the six months from June.

That was more than three times the profit of €128m that it made in the same period last year.

The ESB is majority owned by the State and says profits are re-invested in maintaining the network, renewable energy and other infrastructure.

Leo Varadkar responded to the news with an affirmative declaration as to what the government will do with such a bounty:

We would use that money then to bring down costs for families and businesses and that is what we intend to do.”

The Tánaiste also said the way electricity is linked to the price of gas needs to change and that is being worked on at an EU level which will ultimately help bring down energy bills.

Mr Varadkar also said an “expansionary Budget” will not fuel further hikes in inflation, although he acknowledged that did happen during the Celtic Tiger period of the mid-2000s.

I think we’re actually in a very different situation now,” Mr Varadkar said.

Interest rates are rising, which means credit is going to be more expensive for people and also billions of euros are leaving the country every year because we have to buy all our oil and gas from overseas.

We’re seeing billions being sucked out of the economy for that reason and that’s why I think if we stay within the parameters of what we’ve set out, an expansionary budget wouldn’t be inflationary,” he added.