State companies vindicated

Government demands €300 Million dividend from state companies

Michael Finnegan
WP President Michael Finnegan

The Workers’ Party have said that reports in today’s Irish Times which suggest that the government is to demand that state companies hand over at least €300 million next year to help the government tackle the growing economic crisis shows that the state and semi-state sector is still very much the engine of the Irish economy and that it would be folly to go any further with privatisation programmes.


Workers’ Party President Michael Finnegan said that the government had always relied on the state companies as a consistent cash cow when things got financially difficult for them, and despite years of privatisation and government attack on the state sector it was still a vital cog in the economy.


“In times of economic woe and uncertainty the government unfailingly turns to the state sector which continues to produce the goods.  Last year the commercial state sector paid a dividend of over €84 million to the government and next year, according to reports, they are expected to cough up more than €300 million.  That is hard cash when all other sources are drying up”, said Mr. Finnegan. “It should also be noted that when these levies are remitted the State companies will have paid more to the state coffers than many of the huge multinational companies and some of the richest individuals who are making obscene profits from the Irish people”.


However the Workers’ Party President also had a note of caution.  “It is to be noted that both Bord Gáis and the ESB have recently applied for and been granted massive price increases.  In the light of these demands on the same companies to shore up the economy next year, it is to be hoped that this does not become another stealth tax hitting the most vulnerable sectors of society.  By all means the state sector should do what it was set up to do and provide essential services, and should pay a reasonable dividend to the taxpayer through the government - but it should not be seen as a way to introduce a hidden levy on the public”, he said.


Issued Monday, 1st September 2008.

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics