Householders face yet another energy price hike as grid ‘imperfections’ charge rises by €60

Seen & Heard: Also in the headlines, tech companies cut jobs and slow down office expansions, and Dermot Desmond may have to give his diamond miner a dig-out

Householders will have to pay an extra €60 per year on their energy bills, on top of recent price rises, to cover increases to a surcharge that is added to all bills to pay towards grid costs, the Sunday Times reported. The “imperfections charge” goes to help network operator Eirgrid pay for pulling extra capacity on to the grid at times of network strain. It is more than doubling from €40 to €100 per year.

Energy price rises threaten businesses

The Business Post reported that Michael McGrath, the Minister for Public Expenditure, has conceded that energy price rises are threatening the viability of businesses. The paper also reported that employers’ lobby Ibec has written to the utilities regulator to complain that plans to push €100 million of extra tariffs on the 2,000 biggest energy-draining businesses will damage Ireland’s competitiveness.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Sunday Telegraph reports that Liz Truss, the favourite to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, is considering introducing a 5 per cent across-the-board VAT cut as part of a package of measures to counter the cost-of-living crisis. The move is seen within Truss’s camp as the “nuclear option” in terms of amelioration measures, it says.

Stripe puts plan for new Irish office on hold

The Sunday Times reported that Stripe, the digital payments behemoth founded by the Collison brothers, “has put its hunt for [new] Irish offices on hold”. The company had been seeking 400,000sq ft of new office space here as part of a major expansion, but property agents acting on its behalf are telling the market the plans have been paused. Stripe is just the latest tech giant in Dublin to rethink plans for expansion amid worries of a tech slowdown.


Meta moving some roles from Ireland

The Business Post reported that Facebook’s owner Meta is moving 120 content moderation roles from Ireland to a location abroad. The roles had been contracted to a subsidiary of recruitment giant CPL Resources in Sandyford, Dublin, but the jobs are being moved from October.

Gan online gaming business to cut jobs

The Sunday Independent reported that Dermot Smurfit jnr’s GAN online gaming business has cut 55 jobs this year. The job cuts were revealed in a recent call with analysts, as the Nasdaq-listed, Smurfit family-backed business reported a decline in its quarterly revenues and lowered its profits guidance.

Recovery in CIE tours business picks up speed

CIE International, the inbound tour operator owned by the semi-State bus company, estimates that in 2022 it will do 70 per cent of its pre-pandemic business. It focuses on bringing US coach tours to Ireland, and is seen as a bellwether for the market, the Sunday Independent reported.

Fitch report on Mountain Province Diamonds

The Business Post reported that ratings agency Fitch has suggested that Dermot Desmond, whose investments include Canadian miner Mountain Province Diamonds, may be called upon again to bail out the company. It reduced MPD’s issuer default rating and said there was a “real possibility” of default on its bonds in the next four months. Desmond has kept the company afloat since the pandemic hit.