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Morgan opposes extension of Bank Guarantee Scheme

23 June, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has accused the Government of burying the introduction of a mechanism to extend the bank guarantee scheme in the Financial Measures Miscellaneous Provisions Bill which is being debated in the Dáil today. Deputy Morgan said the measure is far from miscellaneous and questioned the constitutionality of the move.

Deputy Morgan said, “The crucial part of this Bill is far from miscellaneous. It will enable the Minister extend the Bank Guarantee Scheme, which makes the state liable for almost all toxic debts of our financial institutions. It is disingenuous of the Government to attempt to bury this measure within this Bill.

“And why is it that the Minister has now decided to delegate this power to himself? Why cant we have a debate on what is an instrument which could end up bankrupting the state?

“The Constitutional right of the Oireachtas as having exclusive power to make laws for the state does not extend to delegating power to a member of the Executive to the exclusion of the Oireachtas.

“Your Attorney General might be of the view that this legislation is within the principles laid down in City View Press and not repugnant to the Constitution but lets remember this is the same Attorney General who thinks that we can’t impose a pay cut on the judiciary despite numerous legal commentators that we can do so.

“The extension of the Guarantee means extending the public’s liability for the toxic debts created by your fat cat friends. We will end up guaranteeing more bad debt while cementing our liability to the pre-existing toxic debts.

“Whatever about the reasons given at the time, the banking guarantee has failed to provide any stability and the only thing it has really done is to expose Irish people to debts that they did not create themselves, which could result in the state being bankrupt.

“You do not have a mandate to bankrupt the state. You don’t have the right to use public money in anyway you seem fit and you don’t have a right to decide ‘what’s in the public interest’.

“Over the past eight years your party has been the major party of Governments that thought it was in the ‘public interest’ to allow the property bubble to get out of control. You were the ones who thought it was in the public interest to ignore all the warnings that we were too reliant on the construction industry for employment and also for tax revenue. You know nothing about the public interest.” ENDS

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