Thursday, April 16, 2009

ESB Creating 'Jobs' with your money

Why are the media so uncritical of the ESB? We pay some of the highest electricity rates in Europe. I now pay three times what I was paying in California, and that was with Enron on the rampage.

Today the Semi State monolith announced it was going to 'create' 3600 jobs. Bear in mind that this will be done with taxpayers money. Why couldn't they just give the money back to their long suffering customers?

In the short term the ESB is doing the government a favor but is also improving its profile with the public, who are starting to ask questions about its punitive charges of over 14c/Kwh.

In the long term the ESB also wins because it makes itself larger, thus justifying its charges and can also hold these jobs hostage when a future government sees sense and tells it to reduce its prices.

If you doubt me on this hear it from Mr McManus himself:

Padraig McManus, ESB chief executive, said job-creation needed to be a priority for companies that had the resources to invest.

I'm sorry - what did he just say? Since when has creating jobs been a priority of private enterprise? Or is this a public enterprise engaged in a turf war?

By engaging in this kind of meddling the ESB is sending a clear signal to enterpeneurs that it will muscle in on them if they set up here. If you were going to invest in alternative energy and had a choice as to where you do business would you do it in a country where semi state agencies like Dublin Bus get away with using their state-backed monopoly status to strangle competitors at birth?

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