Nationalising Corrib one real way government could protect households this winter
Speaking in the Dáil today, Labour leader and climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD urged Government to consider nationalising the Corrib gas field.
With many households fearful of spiralling gas and electricity costs over the bleak winter ahead, Deputy Bacik said that families and individuals need immediate relief on their energy bills.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Two weeks ago I called on the Taoiseach to examine taking the Corrib gas field into state ownership as one way in which we can bring about reduced energy costs for consumers in Ireland. He indicated that it is not in the Government’s gift to do so, despite those powers having been used by Fianna Fáil previously under the Fuels (Control of Supplies) Acts of 1971 and 1982.
“It’s time for radical action on the energy crisis facing households and businesses. Any measure that could alleviate the burden must be considered. Emergency times call for emergency measures. People cannot be kept in the dark about the measures this Government will take to tackle the extraordinary energy bills people are facing this winter.
“About one quarter of Ireland’s gas consumption comes from the Corrib gas field. Vermillion’s revenues last year increased by 267% – the profits made this year will, no doubt, be exceptional. The price of gas it supplies is costing multiples of what it was a year ago, yet the cost of production has not increased.
“I am once again calling on government to consider this. It was disappointing to hear Tánaiste Varadkar’s comments in response to my call in the Dáil today in ruling out our proposal. The reference he made to the introduction of a Windfall Tax is welcome but he could not give any indication on the timeline for its introduction. We in Labour have already called for the urgent introduction of a Windfall Tax on the excessive profits of energy companies – this should have been done already in Budget 2023.
“The market is clearly out of control. We need a Covid-style emergency response from the government that will keep people warm this winter. Government Ministers are on the record as saying that these price hikes are unprecedented – so an unprecedented, urgent and short term response by government is needed.
“Government must consider nationalising Corrib on a temporary basis. Doing so would help to give households greater certainty on their heating bills for the winter ahead.”