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Northern Assembly to debate NAMA legislation

28 September, 2009 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann, Chairperson of the Assembly Finance and Personnel Committee has said that the Irish Government’s National Assets Management Agency proposals (NAMA) will have detrimental implications for the economy across the Island of Ireland.

Sinn Fein has submitted a motion to the Assembly where the economic implications for the island will be debated today, Monday next 28th September.

Speaking in advance of the debate in the Assembly Ms McCann said:

“NAMA is a scheme which the Irish Government has devised in order to buy ‘bad loans’ from the banks. It is the opinion of many, including Sinn Féin, that the plan from the outset is highly flawed and will place an immense economic burden on taxpayers both North and South while banks and developers walk away scot free.

“If the Irish Government is allowed to proceed with NAMA there will be profound repercussions for people living in the north as it is estimated that €4.8bn of assets are held in the north which would fall under the control of NAMA.

“Currently there is no stated timeframe for NAMA to take place. The very real danger is the possibility of NAMA having a rapid time frame and a minimal discount on the loans bought up. This could lead to a quick sale of land and properties in the North that will be included in this scheme.

“This, given the €4.8bn total would be a staggering amount of land to be placed on the market which in economic terms could see a plummeting of local prices and the free fall of the economy.

Concluding Ms McCann added:

“What is urgently required is not the private reassurances given to the Finance Minster, Sammy Wilson by his Dublin counterpart Brian Lenihan but an open and full debate in an All Ireland economic summit to find alternatives to NAMA and an all-Ireland strategy towards mutual economic recovery.

“The two economies cannot operate in perfect isolation. Politicans in the north cannot bury their heads in the sand and let this blow over. Both economies are inter-dependant and measures must be taken in order to find common practices and close co-operation in future economic planning on an all Ireland basis.” ENDS

Note to Editors

The motion for debate by the Assembly in the North of Ireland today, Monday 28th November, read:

That this Assembly expresses deep concern at the possible negative economic consequences for the island of Ireland if the National Asset Management Agency legislation currently under consideration by Dáil Éireann is passed; and calls on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to raise the issue at the North South Ministerial Council to agree a way forward regarding these assets which will ensure the economic stability of the island of Ireland and movement towards economic growth.

[Mr M McLaughlin]
[Ms J McCann]
[Mr P Butler]

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