Wednesday 21 March 2018

OECD's advice set to fall on deaf Government ears

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

LET us cut to the chase. Yesterday's report from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has lots of advice for the Government. But on things the Government has already done, it has largely ignored OECD advice and there are lots of reasons for thinking it may continue to do so.

Two decisions highlighted by the OECD are important ones. They are the re-structuring of the ESB, and the refusal to make it a civil offence to breach competition law.

The ESB will remain a state company, whose main competitor is another state company, Bord Gais. The criminal penalties for breaking company law will be increased, but the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in practice makes this one of the safest countries in the EU in which to stiff customers with anti-competitive practices.

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