Paschal Donohoe: Government dividend will bring ESB profits in line with 2019
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said he expects an increased Government dividend will bring ESB profits in line with 2019, after the electricity company announced a soaring operating profit of 847 million euro before exceptional items in its year-end results for 2022.
The Government dividend has increased to more than 300 million euro, Paschal Donohoe said.
“We have made clear from the very start that we don’t want to see any State or private entity enjoying a higher level of profitability, purely due to higher pricing that is having such a serious effect on households and businesses,” he said.
He said the Government is in the process of implementing measures for consumers which “will take us up to the budget”.
Mr Donohoe said Government would be able to decide to do with the dividend alongside proceeds from windfall taxes on the energy sector.
Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said on Tuesday that the Government expects to raise between 280 million and 600 million euro through a “temporary solidarity contribution” and a cap on market revenues to address windfall gains in the energy sector.
Asked why the Government dividend from ESB had not yet been ringfenced for energy price measures, Mr Donohoe said the funding being collected will be used for additional measures in the next budget if necessary.
“I’ll definitely be working with the Minister for Finance and Minister Ryan to look at how all of the funding that we collect during the year will be used to support households and businesses,” he added.
Separately, Mr Donohoe said the exposure of the Irish economy to developments in banks across Europe and the rest of the world is “manageable”.
“We do believe the exposure is limited and is one that we can contain and monitor,” Mr Donohoe said.
Mr Donohoe was speaking at the launch of new guidelines for SMEs around public procurement.
The new guidance includes an increase to the threshold at which all contracts for goods and services must be advertised on eTenders from 25,000 euro to 50,000 euro exclusive of VAT.
The threshold at which all contracts for works must be advertised on eTenders was also increased from 50,000 euro to 200,000 euro.