The ESB are asking for a 30% increase in their prices. Times must be tough, but according to their annual report their profits almost doubled.
How can this be justified. Profits are up, you have no shareholders, you have to pay a dividend to the government. Times are tough, money is tight, how about you don't increase your prices this year and use that profit and cut the dividend to the government.
Alas, that's simplistic common sense thinking, something the ESB and government cannot be accused of.
Edit: The Chairman of ESB has said they will put aside 300 million against the price hikes, so they are not all bad. I take some of it back!