Independent TD Carol Nolan has said she welcomes the response of Tánaiste Micheál Martin to her suggestion that the heads of energy companies, and in particular the majority state backed ESB, should be brought before the Oireachtas to explain why they are failing to pass on savings to customers as the wholesale price of gas continues to reduce.
Deputy Nolan who raised the matter in the Dáil also asked the Tánaiste if he could provide a timeline on the legislation to underpin the introduction of the windfall tax on energy companies profits, first committed to by the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan in August 2022 and subsequently authorised by the European Union (EU) in September 2022:
“Today I asked the Tánaiste the same question I asked the Taoiseach in February; and that was did he think it was about time we brought the senior management of the likes of ESB in to explain why there has been such slow movement in terms of reducing people’s energy bills,” the Laois Offaly TD said.
“Piecemeal reductions of the kind we have seen lately just will not cut it. I do note and welcome the fact that the Tánaiste agreed with me that it is time for such reductions to take place.”
“We also need to see a definite timeline for the windfall tax legislation. Minister Ryan has said that the legislation to enact this Government decision is being ‘progressed’ by his Department following stakeholder engagement with other Departments, the CRU and EirGrid.”
“He also said last March on his social media account that Government had approved the introduction of a windfall tax which is estimated to collect €280- €600 million. Well, where is it?”
“I am concerned by his view that the process has also involved the energy industry being allowed to inform the policy design of the windfall tax. Is that the reason for the delay; are the energy companies stalling the process to get the best possible deal while families, businesses and farms continue to suffer? We need to know that.”
Government must not allow the energy companies to dictate the pace of progress on this issue,” concluded Deputy Nolan.