Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD has criticised the rushed announcement tonight that despite early indications the sale of Bord Gáis had been taken off the table, the key asset will now be sold at less than the market value. Deputy Moynihan also criticised the timing of the announcement, on the eve of the exit from the Programme of Assistance, describing the Minister’s strategy as deeply cynical.
Deputy Moynihan commented: “When the sale of Bord Gáis was taken off the table just weeks ago, Fianna Fáil welcomed the development. Bord Gáis is an efficient and well run state asset that is delivering a good service for citizens and a profit for the state. Despite the spin from Government, there was never any agreement to sell the company and now that the state is meeting its financial targets without having to sell the company, there is no reason to proceed. The driving force here is simply Fine Gael ideology.
“Despite what we’re told is an improved price, it still appears as if it will be sold at significantly less than the estimated fair market price. Half of the proceeds will also be used to pay down debt because of the deal concluded by this Government. Despite the Labour Party’s dishonest spin, the decision to use the proceeds of asset sales to pay down debt is entirely the responsibility of this Government.
“The timing of this announcement is deeply cynical. The Labour Party is clearly hoping that with the upcoming weekend of self-praise marking the scheduled end of the Programme of Assistance, this U-turn and betrayal of key Labour Party election promises will escape proper scrutiny.
“This sale is a mistake and is being made under absolutely no pressure. There is no justification for dumping a well-run and valuable state asset at fire sale prices and it is something I fear that we quickly come to regret.”