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Government recapitalisation plan short changes Irish tax-payer - Morgan

22 December, 2008

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said the Government's plan to recapitalise three of Ireland's main banks short changes the Irish tax-payers. Deputy Morgan said it is clear that the Government has no intention of holding anyone to account for the current financial crisis and that the banks are still calling the shots.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, "It is very obvious from this latest move that the banks are still calling shots. Brian Cowen and his Government clearly have no intention of holding anyone to account for the current financial crisis. Not one board member has been sacked and the financial regulator who presided over this mess is still in place.

"Brian Lenihan's inaction on the Financial Regulator's handling of the Seán Fitzgerald fiasco is unacceptable. To await the result of the regulator's investigation into its own handling of the affairs is an ridiculous concept. The Minister should take action immediately and the Financial regulator should be sacked as his position is untenable.

"The Government's recapitalisation plan falls well short of what is required and short changes the Irish tax-payer. The eight percent interest rate on the investment and ten percent in the case of Anglo Irish Bank is short even of the conservative rate of twelve percent charged by the British Governments on its recapitalisation loans to English banks.

"The Government is taking a majority share in the most unsuitable bank of the three to benefit from this plan. There is a good case to be made to simply let Anglo Irish Bank wind up. The Government should retain one of the banks as a state bank but it should be whichever bank is most likely to come through this financial crisis as a viable institution.

"What we need to see is the Government negotiating a deal with the banks that ensures good value for the Irish tax-payer while injecting enough revenue into the banks to ensure a cash flow for Ireland's small to medium enterprises and the retention of a state bank for the benefit of the people. The boards of the remaining banks should be replaced and there must be accountability for the current mess in our financial institutions." ENDS

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