Saturday 7 December 2019

State keeping us in the dark on ESB debt payoff scheme

If you want to know what's going on with the ESB, don't expect a public announcement.

Its array of power stations is set to be stripped back even further as the semi-state now looks to increase the amount of money it secures in the sell-off to clear some of its debts.

But was the public told of the move? Of course not.

The significant announcement was made through a notice to the bond markets, but it was not revealed publicly either by the ESB or the Government itself despite the fact that more of the power generation assets will be put on the market.

And it's not the first occasion the semi-state has been guilty of such action.

In October this newspaper revealed the company had been ordered to sell power stations over the coming two years to pay a special €400m dividend to the State. And again the notice was issued to investors, and not to the ordinary taxpayer.

The Punt wonders why more transparency can't be brought to the process.

Rather than trying to keep us in the dark, perhaps a higher-watt bulb might throw some extra light on the process. After all, we do all own the power stations in question, at least for now.

Irish Independent

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