Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Issues Facing Small Businesses: Discussion

Mr. Vincent Jennings:

We are not so greedy that we want to be in LEEF but I know many others have questioned why a body as large and representative as ISME was not involved. Ms Buckley and I, the restaurateurs, the vintners and the hoteliers were part of what is known as the Local Jobs Alliance and we believe that we collectively should be part of that. Although IBEC does a very good job at representing, it does not necessarily represent our businesses. We know what is hurting us on the ground and at this point in time, it is energy.

I will mention something that is hugely important for the committee to understand. Many years ago, the PSO was introduced. It was calculated for businesses in a different fashion compared to homes. It was calculated for us in respect of kVA. This year, it was announced by the CRU that we would be getting a rebate. Private individuals would get €89 and we will get a rebate of no less than €312 but in many instances, thousands of euro because of the way it was calculated. That was supposed to kick in from 1 October. We are crippled with energy bills and the CRU has not brought about a mechanism for us to be credited. That is astonishing. Do not forget that the new levy being introduced by Revenue will effectively take the PSO into account as the bill the last time yet because we have nothing this time, it will be less of a percentage.

That is wrong. It is our money that we have paid and we should get a rebate. I have written to the Minister and the CRU but have not heard anything back. I would like the committee to investigate where the money has gone.