Tax hikes and cuts while government gives away €540 billion for free!
By Paul Murphy
WHILE THE government puts the boot into ordinary people in another vicious budget, the giveaway of billions of euro of gas continues.
Figures from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural resources suggest that around €540 billion of our natural resources will be given away to multinational companies over the coming years. This is because deals worked out in the 1980s and ‘90s between multinational oil companies and ministers in Haughey’s government are now being implemented by Fianna Fail and the Greens.
The Corrib field alone is estimated to be worth more than €50 billion, while other gas and oil fields under Irish waters have been valued at around ten times that. It is looking increasingly likely that there are plans to use Shell’s refinery at Bellanaboy (near Rossport) to refine gas from the other fields as well.
Disgracefully, Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington, spent 28 days in jail at the order of Judge Mary Devins, the wife of Jimmy Devins, a Fianna Fail Minister! In addition, in advance of the pipe-laying work, which is likely to restart in the coming months, 30 court summons have been issued to local people in an attempt to intimidate them and stop them from protesting.
The gas giveaway highlights the hypocrisy of the government – they claim we all have to sacrifice and pay our share – but they have given away billions in natural resources for nothing. Nationalising the gas and refining it in a safe manner would enable us to develop, not cutback, our essential public services, provide cheap fuel and invest in alternatives to fossil fuels.