The President of the Workers
Party, Michael Finnegan, has described the government’s decision to sell Bord Gáis Energy to Centrica and two other
multinational companies as an outrage.
Mr. Finnegan said
that the decision represented a u-turn on the part of Minister Pat Rabbitte who a fortnight ago announced that the company
had been withdrawn from sale as offers had been below the expected €1.5 billion level set by the government.
“The sale of Bord
Gais Energy is another step in the dismantlement of Ireland’s state companies for little or nothing. The €1.12 billion now agreed sale price is less than half the annual profits of Centrica alone and
is a tiny fraction of the amount this government and its predecessors have poured into failing banks in the past few years”,
said Mr. Finnegan.
“The money raised
by the sale of Bord Gais will make precious little difference to the state’s finances but will take away an important
asset from the Irish people. The real cost will be borne by Irish consumers in
terms of higher fuel bills, less secure energy supplies and lost long term dividends to the state. With Bord Gáis privatised we can expect an increase in disconnections for those in straitened situations
and a jump in the very real problem of fuel poverty. Mark my words, the sale
of this and other state utilities will cause more hardship and misery for ordinary people and long term damage to the economy.”.
Issued 12th December 2013