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Government acting against the will of the people, no further recapitalisation of the banks – Doherty

31 March, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has hit out at the Minister for Finance and the government for acting in direct defiance of the electorate in further recapitalising the banks at a time when ordinary people are on the breadline.

He said:

“The government has no mandate to do what it is doing. The decision made yesterday will impact hugely on generations to come at a time when their support levels are at a record low and it is clear that the people do not support their economic strategy.

“There are half a million people on the dole queues and yet there is no jobs strategy. Instead we are now looking at a further €22 billion being used to further prop up the banking system.

“When I think of what €22 billion could do for the country and for people in marginalised counties such as my own Donegal the mind boggles. In Donegal €22 billion would see the decreases in home-help hours reversed, it would put a stop to the proposed closures of the Lifford and Rock hospitals, it would reverse the cuts on Community Development Projects, it would create much needed employment, it could be used for building new school buildings, it could be used to put in place a proper rural transport system. I could go on and on.

“Instead the money is once again being handed over to the wealthy elite who have been pandered to by successive governments, and who for decades have enjoyed a position of privilege and undue influence over government policies.

“We are being asked to prop up banks which still do not accept responsibility for what they have done. The only stakeholder that needs to be given due consideration here is the taxpayer. What the banks do or don’t want is completely irrelevant at this point. In any other sphere of business, at this stage those banks would be in receivership or liquidized. This attitude of self-importance is the same that prevailed in the lead up to the crisis – there is absolutely no basis for it to be allowed to continue.

“I am calling on the Minister to do the right thing. He knows that he has no mandate to do what he is doing. He knows that the people don’t want this. He knows that this decision is based purely on ideological grounds opposed to the establishment of a state bank and to holding the bankers and property speculators to account. This deal reeks of cronyism and well he knows it.

“I am calling on the Minister and the government to stop and think before they go ahead with this. Think about how it will affect ordinary people; think about how it will affect the lives of our children and our children’s children for years to come. The people don’t want this deal. It should not go ahead.” ENDS

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