Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe has defended the inclusion of data centers in the government’s new energy subsidy program, insisting fewer data centers mean fewer jobs.
The companies that have data centers in Ireland employ tens of thousands of people,” he said during a comment on the newly published Finance Act on Thursday.
“They are a crucial part of the equation for companies here in Ireland that are really, really, really big employers. And for opposition critics in Dáil Eireann who want to drive data centers out of Ireland, this is a quick way to start chasing jobs out of Ireland too.”
Mr Donohoe said the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) was of “very limited use” for large energy consumers such as data centres, as there was a €10,000 monthly cap on support.
The government intends to introduce a separate subsidy scheme for larger energy consumers later this year, Mr Donohoe said, without giving further details.
Professional groups such as doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants will also now be included in the €1.25 billion scheme after initially being excluded, it has been confirmed.
The change means businesses that make money from practicing a profession – known as Case II earnings – now have access to the TBESS to help them offset high energy bills this winter.
The expanded program, detailed in the Finance Act, also allows new companies to access the facilities, potentially bringing thousands of employers into the program.
Mr Donohoe said the total cost of the program would not exceed the £1.25 billion projected in last month’s budget.
He said some of the new companies now eligible for the program will be “very low energy consumers” and that most of the costs would be eaten up by companies that were already eligible.
The Government intends for TBESS to open to applications in the second half of November, with money expected to hit companies’ accounts in early December and “definitely before Christmas”, Mr Donohoe said.
Mr Donohoe expanded the TBESS after Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar noted the exclusion of professionals earlier this month, noting that they “pay tariffs, have employees and pay taxes”.
His appointment was followed by reporting in the Irish Independent which highlighted exclusion and lobbying to change this.
https://www.independent.ie/business/chasing-out-data-centres-will-also-chase-out-jobs-finance-minister-paschal-donohoe-warns-42082836.html Evictions from data centers will also evict jobs, Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe warns