Colm McCarthy: Selling off our energy businesses makes sense
The State's disposal of power stations will not marginalise anybody in this society, writes Colm McCarthy
The Government announced last week that it will seek to dispose of State commercial assets up to a value of about €3bn and that €1bn of the proceeds will be available for unspecified 'reinvestment' in the economy. The balance will be applied to reducing the State's debt.
Irish governments have been selling State companies for the last 20 years and the State's remaining commercial assets consist principally of the energy companies ESB and Bord Gais Energy (BGE).
The plan is that ESB will dispose of some more of its generating stations while retaining its 'vertically integrated' structure, while BGE will dispose of all operations except its gas pipelines.