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Immoral to allow energy companies profit off the backs of consumers

Exorbitant profits being generated by the Corrib gas field further underscore the urgent need for a windfall tax on energy companies, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate and Biodiversity, said:

“It has emerged that the Corrib field, which is 20 percent owned by its operator Vermilion Energy, could generate profits of up to €1.5bn by the end of this year as a result of sharp rises in wholesale gas prices. Despite a fall in the volume of gas produced in the field, the company has seen its net income treble in the first six months of this year.

“Last year, Vermilion increased its profits four-fold to €152.86 million. The average price it received for its gas in the final quarter of 2021 was more than nine times the average price for 2020. While it was expected that its revenues for this year would be substantial, the projected profits reported are simply off the Richter scale.

“We also learned today that State-owned ESB saw its profits soar for the first six months of 2022. This was largely driven by a fair value gain on fuel commodity of almost €162m, where the company pre-purchased fuel at an agreed rate before prices went up.

“With many households facing a winter of fuel poverty due to rising bills, people will find it difficult to understand why they are being squeezed at a time when energy companies are continuing to generate such eyewatering levels of profit.

“It is immoral to allow energy companies continue to profit off the backs of hard-pressed consumers and businesses, many of which will face closure in the challenging months ahead. An EU-wide windfall tax on energy companies’ profits, while not a panacea for the crisis, will go some way towards sharing the burden and offsetting the cost of State supports.”


September 16, 2022

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