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13th Sep 2022

Taoiseach confirms plans to tax energy producers making profits “they would never have dreamt of”

Stephen Porzio

He made the comments while discussing the cost-of-living measures to be introduced in Budget 2023.

There are plans to tax energy producers “getting revenue that they would never have dreamt of” amid the current energy and cost-of-living crisis, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin made the comments on Morning Ireland on Tuesday (13 September) ahead of the second and final day of a Fianna Fáil think-in meeting before the Dáil returns this week.

The Taoiseach did not commit to a final figure that will be dedicated to cost-of-living measures in Budget 2023, saying there will be Government meetings this week on the matter.

He was then asked if there are plans to tax wind generators “making huge profits on the back of the rising electricity prices” to help pay for the cost-of-living budget package.

The Taoiseach confirmed that there are such plans in place, explaining:

“The European Union is proposing to intervene in the marketplace to essentially take off excess profits brought about by this crisis that some non-gas generators in particular, and indeed some gas as well obviously, but some other energy producers, who have low input costs, are getting revenue that they would never have dreamt of.

“That would give us a steady stream of income into the future during this crisis that could assist us.”

He also said that, in the short term, the Government’s surplus would give it the “firepower” required this winter to deal with the cost-of-living crisis in so far as it can.

“But the idea of preventing windfall profits on the back of this crisis is a good one,” Martin then added.

“We have to be fair with people on that and the exchequer, legitimately on behalf of the people, should be in a position to take back some of that.”

The Taoiseach explained this could be carried out either through the EU mechanism or a “domestic mechanism”.

Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Government was working on a one-off “multibillion euro” budget package to respond to the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin on Monday announced plans to put forward a motion with the aim of cutting energy costs in the country.

The new plan would see electricity bills capped to the prices they were in 2021 and cash handouts given to low and middle-income families to assist with paying bills.

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